We love to hear stories about strong, Latina women making a positive impact on their community. For Army wife Janet Sanchez, however, her hard work and giving spirit allowed her an opportunity she never imagined – she got to meet her idol, Oprah!
In 2007 Sanchez, a mother of three from Puerto Rico, saw a need in her community for information for Spanish-speaking military wives. From this void her now popular Esposas Militares Hispanas website was born. The website offers these non-English speaking military wives translated versions of benefits, and it directs them to places they can go to learn English. On top of that, Sanchez makes herself available to the members of her website 24/7, because sometimes people just need someone to talk to. Today the website has about 4,000 members.
“My grandparents taught me that whenever you have a chance, you have to give a hand,” stated Sanchez according to NBC Latino. “If you have the time and ability, you have to do it…I think the values and the morals they taught me has made me who I am today.”
Surely Sanchez didn’t expect her spot-on problem solving skills to get her national recognition. As a result of her hard work, Sanchez was recognized as a top five finalist for Military Spouse Magazine’s 2012 Army Military Spouse of the Year. That’s not all, though. Sanchez was then chosen by the magazine to join a group of 29 female spouses and 1 male spouse not only to meet Oprah, but to be a part of her highly coveted “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episode which will air on OWN Network on November 18.
“She said that we had to remember we were there for a reason and to always remember how much work we have done…” reminisced Sanchez of Oprah’s message to her and others. “After that experience, I think everybody got so close that I consider them part of my family.”