Cecilia Ulibarri of Positive Street Art: Who are the women that made you?

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Cecilia Ulibarri

Womens History MonthEditor’s note: This is the first in a series of interviews with local women as part of our Women’s History Month coverage.

 No woman is an island. In reviewing life’s tapestry we discover the women who have and continue to play significant roles in our soul’s growth. Some we have known since birth, some joined us along life’s journey, while others appeared in auspicious timing, with a necessary word or conversation, relevant during a crucial moment. They may be part of the family we are born into, a family we chose, or a combination of both. 

Some may be here, some may be gone, but all worked in orchestral tandem to mold us into who we are today. We honor the women in our own lives who have empowered and inspired, shared sage wisdom, offered their shoulder, and held space. In recognition of Women’s History Month, we ask the question: Who are the women that made you?

image1 2Cecilia Ulibarri 

  • President and Co-founder, Positive Street Art
  • Constituent Services & Cultural Affairs Coordinator, City of Nashua
  • President, Rotary Club of Nashua West

This is a loaded question. I feel the pressure, and the reason why is because I cannot sugarcoat it, and this term sometimes gets used so much that it doesn’t mean things to people anymore, but truly, I have been blessed with some incredible, strong, and supportive women in my entire life. I literally have been so lucky to have so many that I wouldn’t even be able to literally name them all because there are so many that are still living.

To answer the question, my ancestors.

I have these women in my life that I’ve never even met, that is just part of my bloodline are literally have supported me, I think that needs to be highlighted because even though I’ve never met them, they have a deeper role within me, I feel like they have given me the power to do what I’ve done in my life. To create, to be a leader in my community, to help others. To stand up for things and people when necessary. I truly feel that there is some type of validity in the fact that my ancestors have surrounded me and given me gifts. I think more people need to dig deeper and really appreciate that because the women in your life are such a huge influence because of the past. They’re the caretakers, they’re the nurturers, they’re the ones that give you life. They’re just so important, and they do that for generations. And sometimes we forget that. 

I’m also lucky that my mother has been there for me, no matter what. I was a young mother. She was very supportive through that whole thing. When I left my child’s abusive father, she was there for me. She picked up the pieces. When I had to start being on my own with two children, she supported me, she was there. I was assisted, I was part of a transitional housing program when I was raising my children because I was given that hand up when I really needed it. I felt almost instantly that as soon as I had the opportunity, I wanted to help. As part of the program, you have to be going to college. I went to Nashua Community College and I joined the student senate, and because I joined the student senate, I wanted to be in all the clubs, I was part of Rotaract, I started a gay-straight alliance and the National Student Leadership Conference. I just really integrated myself in student activities and felt like, Oh, I got to start giving back now because I was given the help, how do I do it? That was the way that I did it.

Because I stepped up to do those roles, my leadership just grew and grew from that and really led me to kind of where I am now in my life. But, you know, it’s those times that we have people in our lives, for example, my mother was my rock during this whole thing. Although she couldn’t support me and my children, she was there for me to support me emotionally and get me through the tears and get through the hard times or if I needed a ride somewhere because I didn’t have enough money to get a car. Even just being frustrated over raising two kids on my own and being stressed out, all the pressures of the world, and just trying to make ends meet, she was there for me emotionally, mentally, sometimes financially. She just was always, always there for me. So I will always pay homage to my mother because if I didn’t have her, I don’t think that we’d be having this conversation right now. I’ve gone through quite a journey.  I don’t think that my life would have gone this way. If I didn’t have the help that I needed when I did. I don’t know what my situation would have been like. I think my path would have been a lot different.

More in this series:

About this Author

Constance Cherise

Constance Cherise is a freelance writer and contributor for Turner Classic MoviesSee her work here.