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Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary hosts high school students at 25th annual Vocational Day
By Steve Sohanaki
When Tina Aldatz burnt her feet at the beach by stepping on hot coals hidden under the sand from a previous barbeque, her life changed forever. The Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club hopes her story and others will change the lives of local students by offering motivation for success.
Aldatz and two other speakers—Jim Madrid, founder and CEO of Advance Sports Technology, Inc. and the current mental conditioning coach for the Cal State Fullerton athletic department and Leigh Steinberg, a successful sports agent—addressed local students at the Rotary Club’s 25th annual Vocational Day Symposium held at Laguna Cliffs Marriot on Nov. 19. The purpose of the event was to encourage high school students with the inspirational life stories and insights of successful professionals.
Dozens of juniors and seniors from Dana Hills and Alison Niguel high schools were in attendance.
“When I stepped on those coals I received very painful burns on the bottom of my feet,” Aldatz said. “Little did I know, those burns became my destiny.”
Because of the pain caused by those burns, Aldatz would always sew shoe soles into her shoes to make them more comfortable. Eventually she founded her own company called Foot Petals and became millionaire.
Following her entrepreneurial success, Foot Petals was listed as one of the “500 fastest growing companies in America.” Additionally, Aldatz was featured in Forbes Magazine as an “entrepreneur to watch” and received the 2011 National Latina Business Women Association’s Business Woman of the Year Award.
Talking about how she became a wealthy entrepreneur and businesswoman wasn’t the only story Aldatz told the young crowd of high school students.
Being a high school dropout, Aldatz spoke of the financial hardship she endured while growing up in a poor, dysfunctional family. It was these experiences that gave her motivation to always work hard even long before she became an entrepreneurial millionaire.
“My parents were both criminals and drug addicts, the whole nine yards, but I always loved them,” Aldatz said. “I eventually got a tailoring job at Victoria Secret and worked my way up from there until I became an entrepreneur.”
When Aldatz was asked what she would change about her life if she could go back, she said her biggest regret was never getting an education.
For Andrew Alcantara, a senior at Dana Hills, Aldatz’ story was impressive because of her accomplishments.
“It’s very motivational because she set goals and actually accomplished them,” Alcantara said.
Another student attending the event was Dana Hills junior Max Batterton who was also fascinated by her motivation.
“It was really interesting when they talked about how their mindsets were always set to succeed,” he said.
More information about the Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club can be found at www.monarchbeachrotary.com.