Polly Baca is the first Latina to serve in the House of Representatives and as a state Senator (Colorado). She’s also worked for three U.S. Presidents. Polly grew up in a poor, Mexican American family and faced racism as a child. This experience motivated her to make a difference for others. Polly believes that everyone can develop their own special talents by working and studying hard, learning from others and taking risks. Polly encourages viewers to seize opportunities and learn from mistakes while remembering to contribute to their community.
- Polly says she grew stronger as a result of growing up in a bigoted community and works hard to make sure no one else is treated unfairly like she was. Can you think of anyone, either in real life, a movie or a book that has overcome hardship to become a leader?
- Polly encourages people to be willing to take risks. Safe risks include speaking up for yourself or trying something you’ve never done before even if you fail. What are some risks you’ve taken and how have they turned out?
- Polly feels it’s important to give back to her community, for example, she volunteers her time to help people in prisons. What are some things you do to help people. How does that make you feel?
- Sometimes family or friends have to help each other out. Polly lives near her parents so they could help her raise her children while she worked. Can you think of times someone’s stepped in to help you or your family?
- Many successful people talk about others who encouraged them along the way. Who are those people in your life (e.g, family, teachers, friends)?
There are two houses that make up laws and are part of Congress–the House of Representative and the Senate.
Want to know how a bill becomes a law? Watch the classic cartoon from School House Rock: “I’m Just a Bill”.
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Special thanks to interviewers Brodie Bartholomew and Madeleine Nagle and videographer/editor Nicki Sun and SheHero Polly Baca.