By Leonard Rodriguez
This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and women have positively influenced the face of United States society. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics.

A Cuban by birth, Llena Ros-Lehtinen immigrated with her family to the U.S in 1960. Initially, she worked as a teacher and later established a private school in Miami. In 1982, she turned to politics and became the first Cuban-born female elected to the Florida State Legislature. Four years later, she was elected state senator where she served one term before being elected to the U.S Congress in 1989. As the nation’s first His- panic U.S Congresswoman, Ros-Lihtinen is regarded as a champion of minorities and in particular, Hispanic women.

In an interview in Vista, Ros-Lihtinen asked that the Latina community, “Re-energize and refocus… to realize the vast potential that lies within our grasp.”