Meet 26-year-old Catalina Lauf! Her family immigrated from war-torn Guatemala for her to be born & raised in Woodstock, IL. She received a college degree at 17, became a US Department of Commerce Advisor, and is now running for a congressional seat.
Sam: Would you please share with our audience a little bit about your upbringing & who you are?
Catalina Lauf: I grew up in Woodstock, IL, where things like community, family values, hard work, freedom, and patriotism weren't just nice ideas, they were how people lived their lives. My mother legally immigrated to this country from war-torn Guatemala. My father is a small-business owner from Chicago. My story is only possible because of their hard work and sacrifice. I am a direct product of the American Dream that they built. The values that I was born and raised with have never left me, and I’m proud to be back in my home district defending those values today as a Republican candidate for U.S. Congress.
Sam: You’ve proven to be remarkably intelligent by receiving a collegiate degree at only 17 and then as an advisor to the US Department of Commerce shortly after. What led you to be an advisor at such a young age?
Catalina Lauf: Like many teenagers across America I learned the value of hard work and entrepreneurship by starting very young at my father's business. Throughout college I was very eager to start my career. After graduating, I worked hard and gained experience in the private sector, but always had a passion for policy and loved President Trump’s America-First message. When the Administration was looking for someone with not only my skill set, but support for the president and his Administration’s policies, I pursued the role and ultimately received the appointment.
Sam: In the past you’ve stated you’re a “product of the American Dream.” Where does this belief derive from?
Catalina Lauf: I grew up with examples of those who lived it first-hand. My mother was born in Guatemala and worked hard to come to the United States legally — she worked three jobs, learned English and did everything she could to become a productive citizen. She was able to reach her full potential through personal responsibility, because the opportunities she had in the United States were endless, compared to the limited opportunities in a corrupt country like Guatemala. My father who is an entrepreneur has a similar story - starting from humble beginnings and building a successful business on his own. Only in the United States can one have those success stories, that’s in part what makes this the greatest country in the world. My story is only possible because of my parent’s hard work and sacrifice. I am a direct product of the American Dream that they built, and the immense gratitude they have for everything our country stands for is something that has been ingrained in me since birth.
Sam: What degree has capitalism & entrepreneurship played in your life?
Catalina Lauf: Entrepreneurship runs in my blood. My grandmother started working on a coffee farm in Guatemala at only 8 years old, and by 20, had built her own business. My father has been an entrepreneur his whole life. My sister and I would start little businesses as kids, and grew up around the family business, so it’s natural for me to have so much passion towards small-businesses and entrepreneurship. That love translated to working in the private sector, and now working to grow my family’s company.
Capitalism is one of the main pillars of a free and strong country. Businesses are the backbone of an economy. When the government leaves business owners alone and reduces mindless red tape, regulations and tax burdens, this allows the free market to operate the way that it should. When small businesses are allowed to flourish — we’re encouraging innovation, allowing for competition for better products and services for the consumer, and most of all, we’re creating jobs. We’re growing a healthy and robust economy. Unfortunately, those on the Left do not understand the fundamentals of a free, successful economy and believe taxing and regulating is the answer to everything. That’s 100% false and so far away from the principles our country was founded upon.
Sam: On the surface, millennials appear to be more susceptible to socialist policies. How do you win over that mindset?
Catalina Lauf: Socialism is sold to millennials as great on paper, free college, free phones, free everything. It’s very seductive. But what they are not being sold on are the realities of it, chief among them, the massive bill they have to pay when socialist policies come to fruition. And to take it one step further - it’s not just the question of “who pays for it” but “who really owns it?” “Why is the government deciding and controlling what happens with my hard-earned paycheck?” These are the questions millennials should be asking, but unfortunately there are not enough young conservatives out there sharing the message of a free market and the evils of socialism, not only from an economic standpoint but what’s at stake from a freedom perspective, too. America was built on the principle of equal opportunity, not equal outcome. That’s why we need to encourage the voices of younger people on a national stage - we need counter voices to the young socialist wing of the Democratic Party, or our country is lost. We need to protect the promise of the America Dream from the false promises of socialism.
Sam: What is the best piece of advice you could lend for young women or millennials just starting their professions?
Catalina Lauf: To quote Ayn Rand, “The question isn’t who is going to let me, it is who is going to stop me.” In America, anything is possible and we all have the power to create our own destiny. Our own American Dream. It takes hard-work, vision, and most of all a never-ending fire in the belief that you can truly make your dreams come true. Don’t ever let anyone say that you can’t accomplish anything just because of your age. Never let anyone stand in your way, because you are important, your unique contribution to the world is important, and you are a success story waiting to happen.
Sam: Where can people go to learn more about your campaign & follow your journey?
Catalina Lauf: Please go to my website at Catalinaforcongress.com
Disclaimer: All views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or endorsements of Aeavv™ & Coriquexx, LLC. Aeavv™ & Coriquexx, LLC are not officially endorsing any congressional candidates in the State of Illinois. Aeavv's purpose of the page is to reflect successful individuals chasing extraordinary goals. All photos provided courtesy of Catalina Lauf & Campaign. Potential minor edits for length, flow, grammatical/formatting.
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