Southside girls head basketball coach Jessica Cardenas enjoys being a Latina role model. National Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to remember where she came from.
“For us, it’s more so being able to, you know, coach the kids up and talk to them about just where we come from and what our roots are,” said Cardenas. “And then also for me, more so, I just like instilling the values that my parents taught me into my kids. You know, as far as us, you know, growing up, my parents always told me, you know, you can’t give up. You can’t make excuses. You know, you always have to work harder. And that’s what I told my kids. You know, something goes wrong, and we need to make sure we understand that. We just must take it and go with it and work harder and don’t make excuses, you know.”
Born and raised in San Antonio, Cardenas credits her parents for where she is today.
“My parents greatly influenced me, and it’s because of them that I’m here where I am. Growing up, they worked a lot, but it was so that they ensured that myself and my brother had a better opportunity in life. With them, it was more, ‘No excuses, get good grades, and if you want to play sports, play sports. But that’s you, like we’re not going to interfere. We’re not going to do anything about it.’ If you want a certain position, if you want a certain job, if you want a certain title, you have to continue to work hard because we’ve worked hard all our life. And that’s all we can offer you is showing you, giving you the tools to make sure you get ahead in life.”
Serving as girls athletic director and girls head basketball coach at Southside High School is a point of pride for Cardenas.
“I’m actually very proud. There aren’t very many Latinas, you know, that are head coaches,” Cardenas told KSAT 12 sports “And I know I want to be, a role model for other girls growing up. I graduated from Harlandale. I went to TLU (Texas Lutheran University). I came back, and I taught at South San. I coached at South San, and then I came over here to Southside. I’ve been here eight years, and I just… I’m very proud, and I want to make sure I set a good example for those that want to achieve where I’m at. I want to be able to help guide them and show them that it can be done. And it is possible.”
Check out this story posted on KSAT 12 here!