Leta Sanchez is not a professional model. But she is a dedicated professional and an inspiring model of how to live life. And she did bring her daughter and her smile to the playground and give her time and energy to model for Nuu-Muu.
Leta is our first feature in our “More than a Model” series which we hope will shine a bright light on the beautiful lives behind our photos.
How did we find her?
Leta was a dance student in a Cuban salsa class taught by Nuu-Muu’s Designer, Enid, and her husband. Most of us at Nuu-Muu have alternate lives and one of Enid’s is on the dance floor. Also, Enid is always on the lookout for fresh faces and sincere souls to model for Nuu-Muu. Leta was surprised by the invitation but said YES! A first-time model, Leta was reassured when Enid’s instructions included “come as you are…no makeup and as natural as possible.” It was also reassuring and extra fun that Leta’s daughter Mia and her good friend Jamie and were part of the lineup.
When I started talking with Leta I was immediately at ease. She exudes grace and compassion and has a gentle sense of humor. We quickly realized that we had a lot in common. We are both raising two daughters. We both work in immigration law (my alternate life!) and have many mutual colleagues. We both have roots in Mt. Vernon, Washington. Go figure! I love realizing that connection is absolutely everywhere if one just takes a moment to notice.
What is her day job?
In addition to raising 2 daughters, Leta is an immigration attorney whose practice focuses on representing women seeking protection under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and/or asylum. She dedicates a significant portion of her practice to assisting survivors of gender-based violence to obtain protection under U.S. immigration law. Leta promotes access to justice for marginalized members of her community and regularly provides pro bono assistance.
What is IRIS?
Leta is also the Executive Director of a non-profit, Immigrant Resources & Immediate Support (IRIS), dedicated to meeting the basic human needs of immigrant families. IRIS started informally, with Leta engaging with others to fill in the gaps with immigrant families struggling and in need of temporary assistance. In 2018, she decided to take it to another level and founded IRIS. IRIS is a 100% volunteer run group with no paid staff. All donations are direct to families in need and the focus is on temporary assistance. IRIS fills in the gaps by quickly responding to urgent needs of a temporary nature.
What inspires her?
Time and time again, Leta has watched marginalized families begin to give back after they land on their feet. She shared the story of one woman who was in desperate need living in a church with her 4 children. IRIS helped her get into a safe and stable position. As soon as she got settled, she became an IRIS volunteer to help others in need.
We deeply appreciate Leta’s work to lift up and empower women. And what she wishes for her own two daughters?
“That they be strong on their own two feet, comfortable in their own skin, and marching to the beat of their own drum.”
Leta’s favorite picture from this Nuu-Muu shoot is the one below, with her daughter. She loves the laughter and the connection. And the matching dresses are fun too!
We are grateful to Leta and to each of our models for sharing their time and their lives with us!
Comments will be approved before showing up.