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Success P hil an t hro py
From a tough start as an orphaned boy in
Havana to an esteemed professional that
has dedicated his life to preventing domestic
violence, Dr. Sergio Llanes went from dark
times to a pillar of his community.
T E X T BY F R A N CE S C A C R UZ
Rags to riches stories are all around us. But what
really grabs our collective attention are those stories
that inspire us to be the best version of ourselves
possible, each and every day. Dr. Sergio Llanes is
one such story. He understands struggle, he has lived
adversity. Orphaned at a young age and raised by his
grandmother, he found himself homeless at the age of
11 when she passed away. Every day of his childhood
was an uphill battle to survive. He climbed his way out
of homelessness in the streets of Havana and achieved
a Ph.D. in Psychology and one Philosophy. Dedicating
his life to domestic violence advocacy, he founded the
Hispanic Foundation For The Prevention of Domestic
Violence. Since launching his organization in 2002, he’s
authored 3 books in Spanish on the subject, and is a
fierce champion for women’s rights. Llanes is the director
of SALAD: The Hispanic Antidiscrimination League.
The once-homeless orphan has transformed himself into
an internationally respected professional in the field
of Psychology & Philosophy and has become a media
personality in his own right. Proof that no matter the
story, there’s always room for a silver lining.