YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Moving to a new city or state can sometimes be intimidating. But, Shay Gonzalez has taken that challenge head on.
“We just decided one day we needed to do something different and we just moved here,” she said.
Gonzalez grew up in Puerto Rico then moved to Florida at 23. Two years ago she moved to Struthers with her husband and three daughters. She said she wanted a fresh start in a new area and was excited to come to the Valley.
“When I was in Florida, like seven or eight years ago, I started my real estate classes over there. But, I was pregnant and my baby was born preemie, 25 weeks. So she stayed in the hospital for six months, I lost my job and it was a really, really big challenge for us,” she said.
But she didn’t give up on her dream. After coming to Ohio she was determined to finish what she started.
“When I moved here to Ohio, I told my husband ‘I think this is an opportunity for me.’ Because sometimes we want something but it’s not the right time,” she said.
She got a full time job, and also began her classes again to become a real estate agent, all while taking care of her family.
“That’s why I love what I do, and I’m so protective of that because that cost me a lot. Not only money, it cost me a lot of nights, a lot of sacrifice, family time” she said.
Now, Gonzalez is a real estate agent for Berkshire Hathaway.
As a Hispanic woman she is happy she can relate to her clients in a more personal way. Many people prefer her assistance because they are from similar backgrounds.
“75 or 80 percent of my clients are Hispanic… It’s not just the language. I think it’s, I know the culture, I know what we’re looking for,” she said.
Gonzales said she takes pride in being a successful, Hispanic woman. She worked hard to get to where she is today and knows if she can achieve this success in a new city, others can too.
“You have to just write down that goal and go for it, no matter what happens, you have to keep going,” she said.