Angela Florez

School Service Coordinator at Mattie Rhodes Center

Where were you born and raised?
Kansas City, Missouri.

What is your family heritage?
I am Mexican American. My grandparents on both sides of my family were from Mexico. Part of my Mom’s family were from Ixtlan, Michoacán and my great grandmother was from Spain. My Dad’s family were from Romita and Leon, Mexico.

What is your occupation?
I am a School Service Coordinator at Mattie Rhodes Center. I work with a team of clinicians providing mental health services in partnership with the Kansas City Public School District.

How have you supported or contributed to the local Hispanic/Latinx community?
I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has allowed me to network, collaborate, and support local Hispanic/Latinx organizations and businesses from Northeast to Kansas City, Kansas.

How do you connect with your Hispanic/Latinx culture?
I’ve always connected from what I learned from mis abuelitos. They were the dominant figures to pass on the Mexican culture, traditions, and heritage to my parents and the rest of the family. They shared with us first hand their upbringing in Mexico and coming over to the United States. Their influence has led me and our family to carry on the traditions and to give back to the community.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
I’ve been blessed to share many of my childhood memories with my family. I remember the traditional plaza lighting, mayor’s Christmas tree lighting, Disney ice capades, and circus every year. My brother and cousins always looked forward to going with one another and we still attend the holiday lighting ceremonies to the day.

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to reflect and honor our history and family lineage. It is a time to celebrate our independence, our culture, and the Hispanic/Latinx communities.

In your opinion, what is the most important issue facing the Hispanic/Latinx community?
I believe there can be a stronger voice to vote in the Hispanic/Latinx community. I remember volunteering with colleagues at the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) to register those to vote. We worked endlessly in Missouri and Kansas to register those to vote and the importance of the Hispanic/Latinx community. It is a privilege to voice and shape our future.

Your home for the Tokyo Olympics!