juan carlos barreto ∙ office manager

I am the third child out of six brothers.

Child of separated parents since very young. My mother dedicated her life to work to try to move our family forward.

From a young age, I had to work to be able to contribute to the maintenance of the house as it happens to many children in Latin American countries.

My first job was in a Squash Club doing cleaning, general repairs of the establishment, moving cars, etc. This job helped me pay for my high school expenses and later university.

When I had a chance, during my breaks while at work, I went secretly to the Squash courts to learn how to hit the ball. Little by little, by practicing and seeing how other people played, I learned a little bit of technique to be able to play the sport.

As time went by, I learned more skills and became a better player. Eventually, I worked over-time to be able to pay for classes to better my craft. I got to participate in local and national tournaments that led me to be in the top 10 of Mexico at youth level and get scholarships that helped me greatly in advancing my athletic career while not abandoning my university studies.

At 18 years old, I had to decide between leaving school or continuing my athletic career. I decided to leave the sport since my contribution at home was still heavily needed.

But through all my time spent playing Squash, I met a person who offered me the opportunity to work for a television company as a messenger.

I always had the objective of continuing my studies no matter what. My bosses took notice, and after two years of working as a messenger, they gave me the opportunity to leave work one hour before my scheduled time to study at night. They also allowed me to work on weekends to make up for those missed hours. When I needed some more time for school, they would subtract it from my allotted vacation time as well. They also made it clear that I had to maintain a minimum school average of 8 (the maximum in Mexico is 10), otherwise I would lose all those benefits.

My daily commute during the 4 years of university, from the university to my home, was three hours each way,

using public transportation. My time to do homework was very limited as well since many times I did not sleep for more than three hours a day because I was expected to return to work the every day on time.

One year after completing my university studies, I was promoted to Administrative Assistant. It so happened that one of the executives in the company suffered an accident which prevented him from going back to work for more than 6 months. That incident created the opportunity for me to take on the projects he was in charge and continue with projects that represented bigger challenges for my professional career. Soon after, I got the offer to become Head of Administration of one of the most important areas within the company.

Two years later, after being able to make a positive impact by providing important internal changes that would generate benefits for the company, they asked me to temporarily cover the position of Manager of Administration for the Promotions and Advertising Department. I was expected to create structural plans for the growth of businesses in the area. That gave me once again an amazing opportunity for growth. I was managing in two companies and also handling digital television projects.

 

This lead to obtaining a new position as a Sr. Manager of Administration.

When I started that new position, they approved my continuing education, so I started studying for Management Development in one of the best private Universities in Mexico. Attending this university meant the world to me.

But then, everything took a turn when I had to look for work in the United States.

I had a temporary residency status that I would otherwise lose if I didn’t reside permanently there. Finally, after countless job interviews, I got a job as an Administration Assistant, starting again from scratch in my professional career. Six months after working in the United States, I worked tirelessly until I became an Administration Manager for Sales in the Latin American Division of the company I was working for. Then, I moved on to work for a different company as an Administration Manager in the Digital Television Industry.

However, not everything was rosy, during this transition, I was also battling depression on and off, and then one day I stopped all physical activity, I started drinking alcohol excessively, I had respiratory problems due to the lack of activity. I also had increased anxiety produced by the constant stress of being away from my family. Starting over hit me a lot harder than I had expected.

Fortunately, this great journey called life always gave me the fortune of crossing paths with great people. One of those people was the founder of veedah, who invited me to be part of the team to help change the world. That not only helped me to leave behind my alcohol problems but also to resume my physical activity.

And now, I have lost more than 30 lbs. and I have a totally different look on life. I now get to see clearly that everything is possible when you put your mind to it.

And most importantly, I fully understand the fact that we always need that support group to encourage you to be better.

This is just part of my story, which I am still writing with all my effort and dedication every single day.

Sincerely,JC