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(Archive) Photo of me prior to moving to NY to pursue a career in Visual Storytelling & Journalism. I was full of dreams and hope. I was 23 years old when I moved to NY. The experience since has been very humbling, and as a result, I have dedicated my career to empowering visual storytellers worldwide so that they can access equal and merit-based opportunities as quickly as possible.

News Reframe
Notes from my personal journal to my son Gabriel on my journey as a once aspiring visual storyteller who became an entrepreneur to empower visual storytellers worldwide
adriana teresa letorney
Mar 3, 2020
When I left my family and hometown of Puerto Rico at the young age of 23 to New York to pursue my dream of becoming a professional visual storyteller after graduating from the University of Puerto Rico, where I studied Anthropology- I was filled with so much strength, courage, and hope. I knocked on every door I had access to, which were not many, and the best opportunity I received at the time was to clean for free at a photography studio.

You see, I am a Hispanic woman, and we are known for our cleaning skills.

Deep inside, I was furious, humiliated and heartbroken- but I took the job. Why? Because there is nothing wrong with cleaning and it was my foot into the industry. I knew this was a beginning.

What’s wrong is to assume that cleaning was the best I could do because I was Hispanic, and not offer me anything else like research or studio assistant. Even worse- was having to do what I was “best at” for free.

Our industry can do better.

For every person out there- doing work that is totally doable but you know you are doing that work because you just got stereotyped...and you are meant and capable to do better/ be better...I see you.

You are not alone.

I’m working as fast as I can...and I’m not the only one. You deserve better.

Son, I have found peace in building with your father Graham and Scout Film Festival with my dear friend Anna Colavito,-founder of Scout—both, organizations with a shared mission to empower emerging visual storytellers worldwide with effective tools, and opportunities with the hopes that others do not have to face the burdens we did and can live a better life, one that fosters respect, professional skill development, enabling environments, inclusivity, and sustainability to elevate media literacy; one where we are all treated with integrity and respect regardless of the color of our skin or our race, gender, culture or socio-economic background, or any other ism or term that has been used to categorize and divide us rather than empower and unite us. I am tired of all the isms that divide us. The point of an education is to build character through forms of perspective.  

Remember Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream" speech for it remains the dream of many of us. Be part of the global movement that continues to realize this dream, in whatever you do. And remember, no one person acts alone. Whether you are meant to lead from the front, middle or the back—you can lead, and, please choose to unite, empower and love...especially, love, above all.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

-Gabriel, this photo was taken right before I left to the US./ I will do everything in my power to protect the magic in your eyes and the eyes of others’ because it really does matter...I hold on to what’s left of that magic inside of me for you ❤️.

Adriana Teresa Letorney

Founder & CEO of
Website via Visura

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