Filipino Immigrant “Pays the Generosity Forward”

Patricia Blasquez, Lead Manager, Communications & PR at AT&T

Patricia Blasquez was finishing graduate school—among the first of five siblings to do so—when her father, Alberto, shared a story he’d so far kept from his children, one about his own immigrant journey. 

Alberto and Marietta Blasquez had immigrated to the United States—Patricia was 12 at the time—on a visa for Filipinos who had helped the U.S. government. For two decades, Alberto had worked as a telecommunications engineer at the U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay and the U.S. Embassy. As lead engineer, he headed projects, met dignitaries, had a big office. His family enjoyed an upper-middle-class lifestyle. 

Once in the United States, with no professional license and no time to get one, Alberto found himself working as a cashier and cleaning pools in the Dallas suburbs. The family struggled. 

“There were moments where I would be sitting in my pickup at lunch, and I’d be eating a sandwich and crying—what did I do? I don’t know why I’m here,” he now told his daughter. “It didn’t make sense to me until now: You’re graduating. Maybe the American dream was not about me. It was about my kids.” 

Patricia lives in gratitude. The gratitude is big. It drives not only her success but a need to pay the generosity forward. It is a sentiment common among the children of immigrants. 

Patricia earned a bachelor’s degree in political economy from The University of Texas at Dallas and a master’s degree in public relations from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. 

While interning at the International Rescue Committee, she saw immigrants like her father—skilled professionals now washing dishes or driving taxis. As an aide for Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, she tried to set up language and skills courses. “I thought, I wonder what can be done to get these people re-credentialed,” she said. “It quickly became one of my passions.” 

After the mayor’s term, Patricia put her own skills to work at the Dallas Regional Chamber recruiting businesses. She now leads public relations and communications for AT&T Labs. 

“I would tell my dad 20 years later, ‘I’ve gotten to work for AT&T. And the mayor, I’ve helped create jobs. And that’s all because of your brave decision,’” she said. “I take no credit.” 

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