AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates --
Senior Airman Jennifer Alvarenga, a munitions control specialist assigned to the 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron, is a first generation, Salvadorian/American. Alvarenga says that finding friendships in those with similar experiences, gives her a sense of family away from family.
"I am first generation Salvadorian/American," said Alvarenga. "Both of my parents were born and raised in El Salvador. They were farmers who worked hard to support their family and get to the United States and gain their citizenship. Their determination to provide for me and my family gave me a sense of hard work, and that made me who I am today."
As a Latina in the U.S. Air Force, Alvarenga wants to lead the way. Not only for women and Hispanics but for all Airmen, by taking point in leading operations, training the next generation, and by being ready to direct evacuations should the need arise.
Alvarenga said, "There are a few gaps here and there with communicating, but it gives me the opportunity to slow down and really understand the other person. Being able to speak both Spanish and English has been vital for networking and strengthening connections with outside agencies as well as coworkers."