Ginaly GonzalezClass of 2003
Ginaly Gonzalez has had the unique experience of being both a student and a staff member at Community High School. After having graduated in 2003, Ginaly came back to work in 2010 as a paraprofessional. She left her enthusiastic and creative mark on the staff and students both times around!
While a student at CHS, Ginaly immersed herself in many extracurricular activities, as well as maintained her standing as a model student. She still has very fond memories of her experiences with the Drama productions with Lisa Stein and the Dark Room and field trips with Sandie Butler. When not busy rehearsing and performing in one of the CHS musicals or snapping pictures, Ginaly worked on the yearbook, prom committee, and Student Council, and was a member of the cheerleading squad and volleyball team. She was also the founding member of both the Dance Team and the Softball Team. She was so thrilled to see that these two teams were still up and running after she worked hard to establish them. Ginaly’s fervent energy and varied interests from high school have certainly carried over into adulthood.
Ginaly does report that though she did not realize it at the time, CHS has helped her grow into the responsible, organized, confident person that she is today. She says that....
“It has indeed been a journey to navigate my learning difference, and it has not always been a straight line. CHS gave me a safe space to be vulnerable and the feeling of commonality that I shared with my former classmates was wonderful.”
Ginaly also notes that the environment of empathy and compassion for all helps her in her current work, which centers around diversity and inclusion.
Upon graduating, Ginaly attended CW Post for one year and then transferred to Rutgers New Brunswick. It was at Rutgers that she majored in Communications, with a concentration in Media. During her time on campus, Ginaly also took on the roles of recruiter for her sorority as well as the Philanthropy Chair. Little did she know at the time that these skills would come in quite handy for her future career. She did all of this while attending her classes in hopes to become a news reporter. She was eventually placed in an internship at Telemundo and assigned an investigative reporting story and that is where she unearthed her true passion. Ginaly then realized that instead of telling the stories to all, she wanted to actually help the people and situations that she was reporting on. After her college graduation, she got a job at a marketing company doing promotional sales for a cosmetics company, Victoria Jackson, which was raising funds for Operation Smile, for children with cleft palates. This was her first taste of “working for good” and this reaffirmed her desire to find her ideal career. Her professional journey eventually brought her back to work as a paraprofessional at Community High School!
We were all very excited to see Ginaly back at CHS. She certainly added value to the students’ experiences, just as she did when she, herself, as a student. She assisted the teachers in classes and once again became involved in extracurricular activities. Ginaly coached Volleyball, Dance, and Cheerleading, and of course, helped with the drama productions. She also used her creativity and ingenuity to initiate the groundwork for the Career Discovery Program. Not to mention, it was very beneficial to the students to see such a successful alumni.
Currently, Ginaly works for Facebook. She manages a team of recruiting program managers that influence, drive and operationalize the DEI strategic direction for the Tech Recruiting Organization within North America. Her main goal is to increase representation of historically excluded groups of talent and build a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce that will transform the face of Facebook. Through her work, she is committed to mitigating unconscious bias within the recruiting process and creating a candidate experience that works for all types of talent including; People of color, Women, LGBTQIA+, Persons with Disability and the Veteran Communities. She is rightfully proud that a...
...girl with learning disabilities is now an Executive within big tech; now I can help those who often get overlooked, as I felt I would.
She has recognized that the self-identification numbers within the PwD community continue to be very low, in turn, holding candidates who require accommodations back resulting in companies losing out on top talent. She admits to just recently sharing her own learning difference with her manager. “We need to find the comfortability to advocate for ourselves and demystify the shame around any type of difference. We need to understand ourselves holistically and to build a narrative of success and strength that we can attribute to our learning difference!”
At present, Ginaly lives in New Jersey with her partner, ten month old son, and her furbaby girl. She sees potential and opportunity everywhere and has big dreams for the future. As someone who clearly makes things happen, Ginaly will surely turn her goals of “using technology for good” into something successful and representative of using individual strengths to optimal potential. Ginaly’s recommendation to our current students:
Don’t focus on deficiencies; focus on your strengths. Find out how to build upon your individual skill sets that may not be valuable in traditional academic settings. Let your teachers, support people, and yourself, nurture your strengths.
Great advice, Ginaly! We all couldn’t be happier for you and wish you the best in your future endeavors.