Get to know Noé Espinosa: ALPFA Philly's Director of Pride
ALPFA Philly's new Director of Pride rebuilt his life in the U.S. after moving from Chiapas, Mexico in 2002.
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This sponsored piece was written by Emmy award winning reporter and community journalist Lori Lizarraga. To check out more of her work, visit her website.
“I was not expecting to stay in the United States,” said Noé Espinosa, “and then, I fell in love.”
That’s how the Philadelphia-based business professional describes his decision to rebuild his life and career in America 20 years ago.
“It was hard,” he said of his journey to the U.S. from Chiapas, Mexico in 2002. A native Spanish speaker, Espinosa recalls working full-time and going back to college in the states, while simultaneously teaching himself English.
“I have a degree back in Mexico as an electronic engineer. For whatever reason my credits were not validated here,” he said. He had to decide – was he willing to start his professional journey all over again? It would be a long road, he said, but it was an easy decision for Espinosa.
“I decided to start from zero,” he said.
His motivator? Helping other Latinos. Especially the Latinx LGBTQ+ community.
He’s come a long way in doing just that as the newly selected Director of Pride for the Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA). A title he said he couldn’t have imagined holding even a few years ago.
“When you are a gay man,” said Espinosa, “things can become more challenging. You can actually face a lot of obstacles for being gay. Especially when you are from a Latino family.”
“We have a different culture. Machismo is very strong in our culture,” he continued.
For Espinosa, the pressure to remain in the closet began as a child growing up in Mexico and persisted through his adolescence, elementary and secondary school, all the way to his first job. That pressure was a large part of his decision to leave home and start again in the states all those years ago.
“I knew it was going to be risky because my family probably wasn’t going to accept it,” he said, recalling the struggle of coming out. “But I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be happy with myself.”
Today, Espinosa is a confident, openly gay man with an international business and supply chain degree from the Fox School of Business at Temple, a successful delivery operations manager for Amazon Logistics in Philadelphia, and the Director of Pride for ALPFA Philly.
Espinosa first joined his local Philadelphia chapter of ALPFA in 2017 and has risen through the ranks as a leader in the organization ever since.
“I joined ALPFA because I felt that I had so many obstacles to build a professional life here in the States. First, it was the language. But second, I didn’t always believe in myself,” he said. “Having people that support you, people that support who you are helps so much – they want you to be authentic, they want you to be unique.”
ALPFA is a 50-year-old national nonprofit organization that focuses on providing professional development workshops and career resources to Latino professionals. Their mission: To empower and develop Latino men and women as local and national leaders of character in every sector of the global economy.
“Being gay and being Latino – I am both things. But I had to learn to be comfortable with myself,” he said. “I have grown so much since I joined ALPFA. I really feel that I am with family.”
Espinosa’s advice for the young Latinx LGBTQ+ community is to reach out to organizations like ALPFA and get involved the way he did five years ago.
“It is so important to reach out to people for help,” he said. “We need help to accomplish our goals. We need help to grow.”
Since 2017, Espinosa has gotten more and more involved within ALPFA Philadelphia, sitting on the board, holding different leadership positions, and attending networking events that have enhanced his resume, his work experience, and his self-confidence.
Leaders like Espinosa are encouraging everyone to attend the 2022 ALPFA Convention in Orlando, FL this August. Imagine walking into a room with more than 2,500 Latinx professionals and students, all of whom are highly motivated to lead in their companies and communities, and everyone feels like family. That is why they call themselves the “ALPFAmilia.”
ALPFA's Annual Convention brings corporations and employers from across the country together with Latinx professionals and students for five days of networking, diversity training, motivational speaking, professional development, and hiring opportunities.
“As I said, we don’t accomplish things on our own,” Espinosa said about ALPFA and the upcoming convention. “You get to know people, you get to know people with different stories, you get to know professionals.”
“And you never know, maybe you’ll find your next job there!” he said.
Click here to register for ALPFA’s Annual Convention this Aug. 7 - 11, 2022.
Connect with Noé Espinosa and ALPFA Philadelphia more, by visiting their website.