What’s This All About

About Yaya Speaks

The mission of Yaya Speaks is to inspire and motivate women and youth to achieve greatness. I created Yaya Speaks at a transitional point in my career. Though I loved what I was doing, I listened to my inner voice and decided to eliminate my 3-hour commute to find myself again, grow and pursue my dreams.

My goal is to share part of this journey and open up the space for women to connect, share and learn from each other. Like you, I have achievements and passions, failures and disappointments. I believe that we can connect to our collective experiences and build a supportive and learning community. I hope you will regard Yaya Speaks as a circle of amazing women who are here to support and be supported, to inspire and be inspired. The circle honors our own journey and evolution from a young girl, to woman, to a Yaya – the wise woman you are designed to be.

In several cultures Yaya is a grandmotherly figure who is revered for her intellect, wisdom, and spirituality. In 1996, Rebecca Wells beautifully protrays the loyalty of four friends in The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. In the book, the Ya-Yas are descendants of a mighty tribe of women. For me, Yaya has a personal meaning and my story begins when I was two. I was slow to pronounce words correctly and had the most difficulty with my name, Idalia, which had too many vowels for my tongue. So, I changed my name to Yaya. My father found this to be very amusing and he always called me by the Cuban version…”Yayita”, which translates to little Yaya. Later when I moved the U.S., I started to use my real name, Idalia.

Now, in this part of my journey, I am reclaiming my childhood name as a very important part of who I am and who I have become. I find that the definition of Yaya, – a wise, spiritual and whole woman – and my own story to be divinely intertwined with the journey of other women. Together we can achieve greatness and live our lives with newfound purpose…to help each other succeed. 

Welcome to the circle of Yayas.

Much Love, Idalia

Idalia P. Fernandez – Speaker, Facilitator
I am a leader in the Latino community, and have a vast a network of accomplished, confident women who are reengineering their lives. I encourage women to pursue the life they have always wanted.  The source of my knowledge and experience is my career journey which includes growing and managing a national non-profit organization serving Latino high school and college students, working in the finance and internal audit functions of a large government contracting firm, recruiting for a technical firm, and conducting experiments at a cancer research laboratory.    I am a speaker, panelist and facilitator. My areas of expertise include, but are not limited to, nonprofit management, Latino advancement, scholarship programs, and leadership topics.

Tengo la fortuna de ser una mujer que maneja dos idiomas. I am fortunate to be fully bilingual in Spanish and English. I get my inspiration from my mother, who had the vision of the life she wanted, the wisdom to design a plan, and the courage to execute it.


2 thoughts on “What’s This All About

  1. Idalia – time has flown by so fast! I have enjoyed seeing your postings and the growth of your blog. I am so proud of you. I miss you my friend. Te debo una buena taza de cafe and some good catching up. Un abrazote y muchas bendiciones. Carmen R

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