Sheila E. Inspiring Cultura One Beat at a Time #CricketNation

This post is part of a sponsored collaboration with Cricket Wireless as part of being a 2014 Ambassador. All opinions are my own. 

Each year I attend Hispanicize in Miami, the annual event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers, I know I will be inspired. Inspired I was many times especially watching, meeting and learning from the Latina drummer Sheila E. Remember the 80s dance hit “Glamorous Life”?! Yes, that iconic Sheila E!

Sheila E Drummer QueMeansWhat

This year, I was fortunate to attend Hispanicize as a Cricket Wireless Ambassador. Cricket made a splash at the event revealing a new logo and announcing their merger with AT&T to become the NEW Cricket Wireless. The announcement was made during a Latinovator Luncheon honoring Sheila E. and they didn’t stop there. To recognize Sheila E.’s dedication to music, Cricket Wireless donated $5000 to her foundation. As the co-founder of the Elevate Hope Foundation, Sheila E. is dedicated to increasing children’s self-esteem and school attendance by ensuring that they all have equal access to art and music education, a cause Cricket Wireless strongly supports.

Inspiration, Familia and Playing the Drums

During the luncheon, Sheila E. shared how much her familia and culture influenced her and her music. She started playing the drums with her dad. At age 15, after her first performance, she knew it was the most inspiring and spiritual moment of her life. She gives credit to having family as her support and inspiration.

“It’s so empowering to have a family. A lot of people don’t understand that.” ~Sheila E. She doesn’t take her family for granted. She’s inspired by her parents who will be celebrating 58 years of marriage this year. It’s no surprise at their family gatherings they put on music and dance! ¡Baila!

The video below is a snippet of what she shared with us. The full interview is on the Hispanicize YouTube channel.

Wait, There’s More …

After the luncheon, the Grammy nominated singer and the new Cricket Wireless team surprised third grade students at Miami’s Southside Elementary Museums Magnet School with a music lesson. Queridos, these students were so sweet and, of course, we were the ones inspired by them. The students gushed over Sheila E. and she listened to each of them tell her how much they admired her and what they wanted to be when they grow up. Sheila E. made sure to acknowledge the educators who taught these students music daily. So, there we were in the back of the classroom watching in awe the rockera teaching these great minds their music lesson that they were eager to learn. The teachers spoke to them in English and Spanish interchangeably to stay still and wait their turn. Yet, they were too eager and muy excited. Who could blame them?

Sheila E. Music Lesson

Experiencing first hand the students’ enthusiasm to meet a real life Grammy nominated musician and her commitment to teach them music left me inspired. Sheila E. easily shares her culture through her work and music. In turn, she’s inspired me to keep writing about how culture influences others and to encourage them to discover and celebrate their own culture. What inspires you?

Find Sheila E.’s new album ICON on her website: Learn more about the NEW Cricket Wireless online by liking them on Facebook or following them on Twitter.

But first, Let’s take a selfie!

That’s all but first, let’s take a selfie! Sheila E. gave one helluva rockin’ performance at Hispanicize. She even joined the crowd and took selfies with as many of us who had our phones out! She rocks … it’s the glamorous life, queridos!

Selfie with Sheila E QueMeansWhat