Monica De La Cruz-Hernandez comes from humble beginnings. Her grandmother immigrated to the United States as a child to flee political injustice in Mexico. Monica’s grandfather was a first-generation American, and proudly served in the U.S. Navy. Monica’s mother, Norma, singlehandedly raised her and her brother in Brownsville, Texas. Growing up, Monica’s family built strong foundations of perseverance, respect, and courage that motivated Monica to be involved in community leadership roles from a young age. She served as class president and head cheerleader at James Pace High School and as an altar server at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Living on the border and attending a public high school, Monica saw firsthand the effects of a broken immigration system and failed government policies.
Monica’s mother knew the value of a good education and service to our county. Norma encouraged both her children to apply to universities and consider military service. Monica attended the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she worked and took out student loans to put herself through college. Her brother Carlos served honorably in the Air Force and retired after 20 years of service. While at school, she became a UTSA ambassador and vice president of Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity. Upon graduation, Monica felt compelled to learn more about her roots. She applied for a Spanish language studies program and attend La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. After this experience abroad, Monica applied for an internship with Turner Entertainment and was selected out of 300 applicants. She went on to work with TNT and Cartoon Network Latin America in Atlanta, Georgia.
Roots in the Rio Grande Valley
Monica decided she wanted to return to her roots in the Rio Grande Valley, where she eventually opened her own insurance agency. Monica found immediate success in her new venture, becoming the first new female agent in the Rio Grande Valley to earn the prestigious President’s Club award, an honor bestowed upon the top 50 agents in the country.
In 2016, a national company was forced to shut down her husband’s entire division in an effort to save money. With their community in the midst of hardship and close friends uncertain of what the future held, Monica and her husband formed Navi Business Group. With this new venture, they purchased all the equipment from her husband’s ex-employer, and put people back to work. They hired former workers who had lost their jobs, and taught others how to open their own businesses so they could find their own success.
Monica’s tenacity is shaped by a history of resilient, independent women and men who proudly served their country. Monica’s story includes one of struggle and opportunity. She used her life experience to fuel her desire to achieve the American Dream. Today, Monica and her husband own several successful companies and are proud small business owners. They currently live in Edinburg with their three children.