We had the good fortune of connecting with Mary Banos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mary, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
My favorite quote is one that I wrote years ago, and consider to be a mission statement: “If each person took one moment every day to give another person a compliment or a word of encouragement, it could change the world.” What it means to me is that if each person took time to notice and encourage/uplift another person day to day, it could literally make a change in the world. Think about how you feel when someone gives you a compliment or word of encouragement; and then think of how it feels when you do that for another person and see their face light up. Now imagine if every person felt that regularly. How empowering and uplifting could that be? How much more kindness would we experience with each other? How much brighter would everyone’s outlook be each day? That is something we need more of in our world today than ever before.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Full time I have worked in college financial aid for almost 24 years. It has been rewarding to be able to help thousands of students with the financial assistance to obtain a college education. It is ironic for me, because when I left home at the age of 18 to attend college, I was completely on my own. Looking back I don’t know how I completed 3 1/2 years of college without anyone to guide me. I reached the last semester without the financial ability to complete my few classes and went many years without my degree. Then in 2011, I was able to return, and finally complete my degree and graduate. This has increased how rewarding it has been for me to help students financially to complete their education and obtain their degree. Along the way, on a part time basis, I published my book, started public speaking, and have had other accomplishments in my journey of uplifting and encouraging others. Also, periodically I have had students share struggles with me, and I have been able to share words to uplift and empower them. Each time that has happened, it has greatly increased the rewards of my work. Anything which contributes to help another person is rewarding.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
My favorite restaurant in Dallas is Casita Tex Mex on Blackwell. It is owned by Norma Rocha Valles, who genuinely cares about each person who walks in the door. During my first visit there, I came out of the restroom, and Norma walked up and gave me a hug, welcoming me to her restaurant. On most Saturday nights Norma sings for her customers, with her band providing great music. On these night she sings from 7:00 – 10:00pm, and then at 10:00pm she opens up the room for karaoke. During the 3 hours which she sings, she invites audience members to join her, she walks around the room including her customers, and she will turn and waive at each person who walks in the door. My favorite place to take friends who are visiting from out of town is the Studio Movie Grill. It is a combination restaurant and movie theater. Customers are served food and drinks, while watching a movie on a big screen. Many locations have recliners to increase the comfort as you are having your meal and enjoying a good movie.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to express appreciation to my close friends, who have deeply impacted my life. I have never known what it is to have a close and positive relationship with someone with whom I am related. It is from my friends that I am blessed with what others receive from family: unconditional love, continual encouragement and support, being there to talk when I have exciting news to share – as well as when I need to talk, advice, etc. I am thankful to God, who sent people to start taking me to church when I was 7 years old, and who gifted the friends in my life. It is from healing of my childhood from God and the “family qualities” given to me by friends, that I am able to be a positive and fulfilled person today, and that I have had the confidence to pursue my passion of being and author and speaker, to encourage people around the world.