Name: Karina Ruiz-Vargas
Occupation: Bilingual Compliance Coordinator and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Position on Leadership team: Chair
How long have you been with the Leadership team? Started January 2020
How did you get interested in breastfeeding? I started with a grant that Milkworks received in 2016. It was a grant to become a community breastfeeding educator. I always knew I was interested in breastfeeding but didn’t know it would become a passion. I got the opportunity to become a CLC after that class at Milkworks and then just didn’t want to stop. I officially became an IBCLC as of January of 2024, with the help of many community members, allies, and the coalition.
What are your goals for the breastfeeding coalition? Now that I have gone through the process of becoming an IBCLC, I will use that knowledge to help guide others with conquering similar barriers. My goal is to do everything in my power to help moms and babies via helping in the decision making for the better of the coalition. The coalition is a group that can get stronger so we can focus on what moms and babies need most. It’s an amazing team to be a part of. I hope to collaborate and connect with a lot of lactation professionals from all over Nebraska to help and invest in equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Do you have kids and if so, how many? I have three kids; An 11-year old daughter, a 5 year old son, and a 1 year old daughter.
Did you breastfeed your children? Yes, it was very difficult but I did. I’m still breastfeeding my youngest.
3 fun facts about you? I love arts and crafts, I’m someone who likes to know a little bit of everything, I love dancing.
Favorite color: Burgundy and blush.
Favorite food: I love all food! It’s too hard to decide. I think Chinese and Mexican are my go-to foods.
Favorite quote: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" -- Gandhi
Any other special information about you? I’m a busy person but I love being involved in my community. I am a part of other boards and community groups. I also try to partner with different organizations in Lincoln to make sure we can all work together to improve our community. My passion is with underrepresented populations because they may feel like they don’t have a voice. I love being able to use whatever platform I have to create a voice for them.