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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Harry E. Santiago

My name is Harry E. Santiago. I was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and emigrated to the United States in 1969 along with my Mami and older sister. My Papi stayed behind working so he could still provide for us.

Being Latino/Boricua (from Puerto Rico) means everything to me. Although the first few years were taxing—needing to learn a new culture and language—I was able to overcome this challenge and my grades eventually improved. I attended Franklin Pierce Elementary then moved on to Lincoln Junior and Senior High School, where I graduated in 1977. I started my college education at UWM and later attended Cardinal Stritch University.

After working in corporate America for more than 28 years, I suddenly found myself unemployed in late 2003. After attending the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (HCCW) Gala in 2004 and listening to the keynote speaker, Dr. Enrique Figueroa, talk about the needs of more bilingual professionals in all areas, I decided to start a business. It was then that I decided to use my education—and the fact I was fully bilingual—to launch our very own independent insurance agency. Being able to have an office in the heart of our Latino community allows us to serve our people in our wonderful Spanish language. This October, we officially begin our 17th year in business.

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