AAT Quick Story: Ilusiones Magazine and Personal Improvement

Meet Victor Manuel Rodríguez. Victor is the general manager of Ilusiones Magazine, a publication that prides itself in being Elko’s only bilingual magazine. In preparation for their first “Miss Ilusiones” contest, Victor put on a personal improvement conference for some of the upcoming contestants, and whoever decided to pop in, at the Northeastern Nevada Museum. The goal of the conference was to promote positive values, build leaders, and create successful people.

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Elko Police Department’s own Officer Bridgette Gilboy was one of the speakers and she shared her story and heart for seeing young females grow with confidence, empowerment, and the realities of domestic violence. “I was adopted as a teenager. I was thirteen when I was adopted and prior to that, I was in foster care for about seven years. My biological mom was a prostitute and she has severe schizophrenia; I see her when I’m working usually twice a week, and I will get out and talk to her. But, with her disease, she can’t picture me over the age of twelve; she can’t see me as a young adult. We had a lot of issues growing up. She took us to Chicago for six months and we lived out of the ghetto. It got to the point where I couldn’t even stand being in the room with her. There was a dumpster next to the hotel so I would take cardboard boxes and make my own little hideaway spot. ” Officer Gilboy shared with the audience. “I just took what was going on and did my best to be an independent to take care of myself and brother and sister. And during the time of going through foster care, the abuse, going to the hospital with a broken bone and not having CPS do anything, I developed a strong hatred for law enforcement. I didn’t trust them. And that started an attitude with me; I didn’t do anything to lash out, I was just very closed off. But when I graduated, once my undergrad was complete, I was set to go to Montana on a full ride scholarship for law school. So, I came to Elko to get my undergrad done and started working for the city attorney’s office to gain experience…and I decided I didn’t want to go to law school. I didn’t want to be in front of a computer all day. So, I kind of got stuck a little bit and decided to think about getting into law enforcement. But the difficult thing for me was that I’m a female. And unfortunately, even my significant other at the time didn’t think a female should be in this field. I went through the process, was determined and I wanted to prove to everyone that I could do this. So, after a long hiring process, we now have two female officers in the Elko Police Department, out of about thirty-six or thirty-seven officers.”

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Mike McGhee (Great Basin College student recruiter) and Scott Neilsen (Great Basin College student financial services director) also gave presentations with the goal of helping the young ladies of the Miss Ilusiones contest think through their future when it comes to financial aid and college. Fun fact did you know: If you have red hair, you could get five hundred dollars in scholarships? If you live in a mobile or manufactured home, you could apply for a thousand dollars! And if you have fifty rolls of duct tape and one hundred hours of time, you could receive ten thousand dollars in scholarship money just for whatever you’re able to create! Good to know!

Great stuff, Victor, and Ilusiones Magainze! Keep up the great work!

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