SJA graduate Maria Monreal-Cameron, '63, moves her community forward
Published November 2016
Maria Monreal-Cameron, '63, is filled with passion, perseverance, and an enduring drive to elevate the lives of others. Her take on life can be summarized by her mantra, which she coined for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (HCCW) during her tenure there: “Adelante Juntos,” meaning “Forward Together.”
Monreal-Cameron is the ninth of thirteen children born to Mexican immigrants. Her parents first lived in Texas, then became some of the earliest Mexican settlers in Milwaukee after hearing of opportunities for success for them and their children. Monreal-Cameron had a strict upbringing that instilled a strong work ethic and a determination to succeed. Her parents valued a Catholic education and felt that St. Joan Antida High School (SJA) would be a positive environment in which to further her upbringing. She was the first girl in her family to attend SJA and led the way for her three younger sisters to also attend: Isabel, ’64, Guadalupe, ’66, and Mary Helen, ’68.
Monreal-Cameron’s time at SJA was formative; she learned how to embrace her core values and make them part of her everyday life and persona.
“SJA gave me a well-rounded education, and the environment there made it possible for me to thrive,” Monreal-Cameron recalled.