Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce  series highlighting members of the Department of Commerce and their contributions to an Economy Built to Last.
Guest blog post by Carly Montoya, Director of Advance, Office of the Secretary
I grew up in Pueblo, Colorado. My father, Jim, started off as a migrant farm worker and later put four children and my mom through college. My mother, Pat, started off as a beautician and later went to college when I was in middle school while still raising four kids and helping my father provide for my family. They did everything they could to support my family so that my brother, sisters and I would have opportunities that they never had. Because of their sacrifices and their relentless determination, I graduated from Tufts University with a world of opportunities before me. I chose a career in public service.
There are a lot of different fields in public service, but advance is a field I was drawn to for one big reason: Advance is a team effort. Like my parents taught me, if one person fails, everyone fails. If one person succeeds, we all succeed.
Advance is the spoke in the wheel and where everything comes together. It involves coordinating the objectives of the various departments and bureaus at the Department of Commerce so that the Secretary can engage people who are on the front lines of job creation across America and around the world. It’s about communicating how the work that we do here at Commerce can nurture an environment where businesses and innovators can create jobs by building things here and selling them everywhere.
I am impressed by the work that my colleagues at the Department of Commerce do every day to implement the President’s vision of An America Built to Last. The team at the Patent & Trademark Office, for example, works to ensure that innovators have the tools they need to help them bring their products to market faster so America can continue to out-innovate the rest of the world. My friends in the International Trade Administration help businesses gain access to markets around the world so they can export more and create more jobs here at home. The Advance team and I have the great job of being the spoke in the wheel that brings all of this together.
My advice for young Hispanic Americans is simple:
- Do good
- Learn as much as you can
- Learn from smart people
- Give back