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'I think that's one of my values': Emerging leader, entrepreneur in Louisville shares his dreams

Israel Cuenca moved to Louisville in 2008 due in part to the Sister Cities of Louisville Inc. initiative.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, emerging leader Israel Cuenca shared his story.

He was born in Loja, Ecuador and moved to the United States in 2008. He found out about the Sister Cities of Louisville Inc. initiative in Ecuador and that's how he and his family chose to move to the metro.

Cuenca is one of six children; him and four others are living in the U.S. He is currently studying at Bellarmine University.

After graduation, he said he wanted to be a leader for change.

“The stereotypes about Latinos, but the Latino culture is more than just food, just music,” Cuenca said. "It's so many more things about us historically, politically, culturally. So, we have to be more open-minded when we talk about Latinos."

Cuenca said creating the Latin Music Awards was his way of connecting Latin American culture with America.

"It's a way to show the world the Latino music," he said. "It was a way to recognize the Latino bands in Kentucky and show how beautiful and colorful our music is."

Cuenca added he believes every human being is worth it, no matter who that person is or what they did.

"I think that's one of my values," he said. " I respect and value people no matter the color of your skin, no matter your culture, no matter where you come from."

You can see him performing drums around town from time to time, but when you mix purpose with passion, it becomes a journey that he takes seriously. 

►Contact WHAS11’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

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