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We love graduation season. It gives us a chance to applaud the next generation of high school and college graduates, and also be amazed at how they honor their family and Latino heritage. There is nothing better than giving your own culture a chance to shine on such a special day. That’s exactly what Samantha Sheppard did with a beautiful and culturally relevant graduation photo shoot.

Samantha Sheppard, 21, is the first to graduate from college in her family and celebrated by having a gorgeous photoshoot.


“First one in my family with a degree,” she tweeted on April 20. “Finally telling my parents that everything they did is paying off…had to show out for the first gens for my grad shoot. 100% Panameña, living the American dream.”

Her tweet went viral and has been liked almost 40,000 times.


“I love the fact that my culture is being spread everywhere because we deserve it!! as a biracial female at a PWI, it means sooooo much,” she tweeted.

PWI is an acronym for predominately white institution.

Sheppard said she was happy her tweet went viral so people could learn more about Panamanian culture.


“Holy sh*t this sh*t really went f*cking viral… like whatttttt. not too many people know about Panamanian culture or how hard we really work so out of all the things that could’ve gotten this big, I’m glad it’s this.”

Here’s more about Sheppard, her family, and how she helps them any way she can.

Sheppard graduated with a degree in psychology and philosophy. She said that she is also currently working at a center for autism and related disorders.

“I have a very knowledgeable background in behavioral therapy and ABA and I’ve done extensive cognitive and neuropsych and neuroscience research with two profs at LSU,” Samantha tweeted.

People on social media were so moved by her incredible photoshoot.

Her dress was definitely a showstopper. Her headdress is worth another photoshoot on its own.

Panama is getting so much love, thanks to Sheppard’s tweet.

We wonder if her family back home found out about her viral tweet. It must be a really nice feeling to know that you are helping people learn about your culture and your people.

Her parents must be beyond proud of their daughter.

We can’t wait to see what is next for this inspiring young woman.

Congrats, Samantha!

READ: Here’s What This Undocumented College Grad Has To Say About The Haters Threatening Her With ICE For Celebrating Her Graduation

Friday Pregame Playlist: 7 Songs Powered By Your Fave LGBTQ+ Latinas


Friday Pregame Playlist: 7 Songs Powered By Your Fave LGBTQ+ Latinas

Rita Ora / Youtube.com

It’s Friyay, ya just got paid, and you and your crew are in need of a good wind up/ wind down from the long work week. If you’re looking for a killer playlist to crank up with your pals before you head out for the night, we put together a playlist made up of our fave out and proud, colorful Latinas including Cardi B to Lauren Jauregui.

Check it out y disfrutar!

Get ready with your girls to Cardi B’s new single with Rita.

Read to paint the town lipstick red? Cardi B’s collab with Rita Ora, Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha which just dropped today will get you there. Fans of Cardi know the Afro-Dominica has been open and out about her bisexuality since her “Love & Hip Hop Days” and for the Latina feeling herself too, this one’s for you.

Lyrics to know: “I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls”

Break out the Bacardi with some Bardi.

While you break out the espíritu keep up the Cardi vibes with our fave hit from her commercial debut album. Get ready for your night stunting and shining with Cardi’s “I Like It.”

Lyrics to know: “Diamond district in the Jag / I said I like it like that / Bad Bunny, baby, be, be, be, be/ Certified, you know I’m gang, gang, gang, gang”

When the chica squad is all present turn up with some Nitty.

Nitty Scott took our embrace of Afro-roots to new heights with her song “La Diaspora” last year. When it’s time to get things a little rowdy, pump up the Boricua’s hit and get to coasting through the night.

Lyrics to know: “Dreaming to the beat of the drum all day/ One with the sun/ Let it lead my way/ La hija de la diaspora”

When it’s lit, get in position for Kehlani.

Kehlani’s “First Position” will be the jam of the night for the chica open to whatever happens while you’re out on the dance floor. La Filipina with so much pride about her pansexuality that we even feel the vibes will have you ready to hit up the dance floor ASAP.

Lyrics to know: “Said she wanna try it, ain’t tryna hide it”

Gear up for your all-nighter with Jauregui.

La Cubana of Fifth Harmony has been open about her bisexuality throughout her career and her “All Night” hit is a reminder of how open she is to love in her life. For the chica in your life open to all of the possibilities the night will bring crank this canción de life uppppp.

Lyrics to know: “That could come from me feelin’ this way/ And I don’t wanna /I don’t wanna play”

Slow it down for a quick round up with Princess Nokia.

Ready to head out the door but need a hot minute to gather phones/ keys/ bags etc? Let Afro-Latina royal, Princess Nokia, help you get your hot mess together. To do so, make sure your friends keep up the same fearlessness it’s taken the Latina to be open and loud about her bisexuality with her single, “For The Night,” which dropped this past April.

Lyrics to know: “I make money to replace youUsed to love you, now I hate you”

When the cab is here let Demi lead the way.

Yes, Demi-with-the-good-hair-Lovato did a song with “Despacito” prince Luis Fonsi and she is here to send you on your night of freedom. If you missed this hit, you must have been living under rock (the song has over 1 billion views on Youtube) fortunately, this ones here to play you and your gang out the door.

Lyrics to know: “Échame la culpa/ No eres tú/ no eres tú/ soy yo/ soy yo”

Read: These Songs Need To Be On Every Latina Girl Gang’s Spring Break Playlist

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This Graduation Cap Hack Is For The 4C Latina Ready To Get Her Degree And Elevate Her Black Girl Magic

Everyday Runway

This Graduation Cap Hack Is For The 4C Latina Ready To Get Her Degree And Elevate Her Black Girl Magic

Chizi Duru / Youtube.com

Being an Afro-Latina with curls is lit. Being one with a degree is magic. So, what’s a Black girl with lit hair and a magic brain to do when graduation season comes and it’s time to don a cap and do the whip across the stage? Anyone with a 3c+ curl knows that not even bobby pins will make this feat easy.

Instead of breaking out the flatiron, use this hot tip by a hair and beauty vlogger to rock your true locks and step off to greatness.

Hair and beauty vlogger Chizi Duru shared a pretty great tutorial for the Black girl with rizos.

Duru’s tutorial video went viral last year when she shared it ahead of her own graduation for girls looking to find a way to rock their curls on graduation day.

She started out her look with a fresh twist out from the night before.


CREDIT: Chizi Duru / Youtube.com

She separated her fly twists…

Then used bobby pins to pin down her hair in the places that she wanted her rizos to fall.


CREDIT: Chizi Duru / Youtube.com

She placed a few pins in the front and around the sides of her head, then fluffed it all out to make it all blend together.

Then, using a cheap, black headband she placed its base on the bottom of the cap.


CREDIT: Chizi Duru / Youtube.com

In the video, she secured the band with plastic tape but explained, that to make sure all is secure on grad day, use ducktape or hot glue. Then fold the sides over the base…

And get your degree, girl!


CREDIT: Chizi Duru / Youtube.com

Don’t forget to share your graduation photos with your rizos in the comments for us!

Read: 6 Afro-Latinas Open Up About What Headwraps Mean To Them

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