NNS employees volunteered at the Norfolk Latino Music Festival in July.

NNS Sponsors Norfolk Latino Music Festival

Published August 17, 2021

Newport News Shipbuilding’s Hispanic Outreach and Leadership Alliance (HOLA) and the Diversity and Inclusion Office took part in the annual Norfolk Latino Music Festival in July. The event, co-sponsored by NNS, focused on celebrating the heritage and hard work of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the U.S.

Attendees who were interested in learning more about working at NNS and career resources could speak with HOLA members at the event, while also celebrating culture and music.

Sam Byrne (X82) was among the HOLA members who volunteered at the event. “I grew up in Northern Virginia, right outside of Washington, D.C. As a kid, I always enjoyed the Hispanic community through music, food and dance. When I first came to the Hampton Roads area, I found myself missing that piece of home. The festival reminds me of that feeling of home from the rhythm of the music to the taste and smells of all the food,” he said. “While it was great to experience the live music, dance and eat again, it was even better giving back to the community that I still enjoy so much.”

The event also was a reminder to others that home does not have to be continents away. Alejandro Nava Moncada (O04) was one of the organizers and used this event as a reminder that family extends well beyond the motherland.

“I was born and raised in Bolivia until the age of 10. When I came to the U.S., the hardest thing for me to do was find a community of Hispanics/Latinos that was well established and strong enough to make it feel like home. When I found HOLA at NNS, they opened my eyes into the secrets of the 757 and helped me rediscover my familia. Now, when I am feeling homesick, I go to events like the Norfolk Latino Music Festival to continue growing my extended family away from home,” he said.

HOLA hosts a variety of events, including a monthly book club, professional development sessions, as well as social gatherings – which are socially distanced for now – to help strengthen the NNS familia. To learn more about HOLA or get involved, visit the HOLA website on MyNNS.