5 Key Takeaways to Help You Reach Your Dreams Inspired by: Julissa Calderon

Julissa Calderon, BuzzFeed Producer

Julissa Calderon, BuzzFeed Producer


Not many will make the trip from sunny Los Angeles to the frigid October temps in Boston without purpose.

But MAKE BREAD (Boston’s Racial & Economic Activated Dialogue) managed to curate an event which allowed keynote speaker, Julissa Calderon, to travel to Boston and share her journey and challenges that led to becoming Producer of BuzzFeed.

The space was filled with both women and men who were ready to hear how a millennial like Julissa Calderon went from viral online videos to BuzzFeed Producer. We stood the entire event, encapsulated by the story Julissa Calderon shared with us.

The Milli Blog attends MAKE BREAD event featuring guest speaker, Julissa Calderon

The Milli Blog attends MAKE BREAD event featuring guest speaker, Julissa Calderon

Julissa shared part of herself that not even her mother knew until now. We’ve heard the message before but the journey was different for her. Out of all (there were a lot) the strong messaging Julissa shared with us, below are five key takeaways we feel every millennial should embody if you too want to live your best life!

#1. Dream Big

Julissa’s story was not a one way ticket to fame. She set various goals and worked hard to achieve them with proper planning. She also set unrealistic at the time goals because she wanted them to become her reality. She attended the University of Florida with dreams of following in her moms footsteps as a Nurse. But one day discovered her love of theater and switched majors. Julissa went on to graduate and got ready for the real world and job opportunities to come pouring in! But when that didn’t happen after a month post-graduation, she realized she would need to help the dream along by doing whatever necessary. Julissa desired a sense of purpose that allowed her to work through each roadblock, and didn’t short change herself on her dream no matter what it took to make it.


#2. Write Down EVERYTHING

Writing your goals allows you to see your visions / goals / dreams in writing. Julissa wrote in her journal what she wanted and hoped to come true regularly. It wasn’t until she was fired from her last service industry job that she realized blessing behind what some would call bad luck. Earlier that year she had written in her journal that she wished to be out of the Service Industry by April of the following year — and it was April 2016 they let her go and she was able to venture into her passion. So remember, the process may not be ideal but you will get what you asked for eventually (with determination and hard work of course)!

#3. Find a Support System

TMB support system.jpg

As you create goals on how you envision your life, you need a supportive individual/group by your side. Your support not only claps the loudest for you, but also gives you the red or green light on every idea or move you decide to make towards your goals. These people are also a voice of reason and a healthy challenge when helping you exercise your critical thinking. In Julissa’s case, her mother was not only her personal cheerleader, but she was a straight up MOM. While maintaining a supportive role in her life, Mama bear made sure Julissa didn't jump the gun without actual thought and planning, and that all moves (mentally and physically) were in her daughters best interest.

TMB Winning Spirit.jpg

#4. Take L’s But Keep A Winning Spirit

Like many, a one-way ticket to LA is a trend for those who aspire to be in the entertainment industry. Julissa originally went to LA with plans to return back home to Miami in 2 weeks. But as soon as she settled in she knew she wasn’t going back! She went through a few road bumps both personally and professionally, but that didn't kill her spirit. Even when she was turned away from roles due to her Dominican accent, Julissa wanted to be successful so bad that her L’s were viewed as constructive criticism and a learning lesson to fuel her wildest dreams, so she allowed her journey to take its’ course. Had she caressed the quitting mentality she believes she wouldn’t be where she is in life today. After hearing her story it takes great strength to be told multiple No’s, not accept any of them and allow those No’s to define her journey.

#5. Don’t Switch Up

Scene from Dominican Housewives

Scene from Dominican Housewives

Julissa is raw, authentic and a master of her craft. She read passionate about Afro-Latino representation and challenging Latino stereotypes. She branded herself as so and there's no guessing who she is or trying to be. You can no replicate her if you tried. She shared so much about herself that many can relate. With all the fame and recognition she has received thus far, she has created an identity that lightens up a room of strangers with in the 1st 15 seconds. Her true intentions are clear which is to create content that shines light on the Afro-Latino community with  hopes that it will open doors for them in the future.

(Some of) Julissa’s featured shows / productions

Pero Like - Julissa Calderon.jpg
Domincan Housewives Poster.jpg
In Between - Julissa Calderon.jpg

Julissa C 2.jpg

Follow Julissa’s continued journey to success & look for her in the future on the big screen!

Instagram (@laJulissa)

Twitter (@La_Julissa)