Developing young leaders is Laura Nieto’s passion. As the Director of Community Affairs and Grassroots for Southwest Airlines, Nieto gives back to the community by dedicating time to mentoring and advocating for diverse groups. She believes that every individual has something valuable to bring to the table. She says the best outcomes occur when each person’s individual talents are welcomed and recognized.
If you were to ask her in high school, she might not have been able to tell you that her role as Head Varsity Cheerleader and her three years as class president would translate into a career of giving back to the community. Her sense of community pride and empathy for others is rooted in her connection to the Culebra Park neighborhood where she was raised. It was there that Nieto learned the value of being a good citizen in her community. She felt pride for her hometown and her school when she represented them in New York City as a cheerleading All-American nominee in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. That first trip to New York City, coupled with her father’s encouragement, sparked a love of travel that she still has today.
As an avid Marathon runner, Nieto satisfies her passion and curiosity for cultures and travel and is well on her way to completing the Six World Marathon Majors which are held in cities all around the world. She hopes that her experiences will encourage Northside students to continue to learn about the bigger world around them.
Nieto attended Esparza Elementary School, Sul Ross Middle School, and Holmes High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Texas Tech University and was recently named a Texas Tech University Distinguished Alumni. She is a fellow of the National Hispana Leadership Institute’s Executive Leadership Program and was named to the Top 25 Latino Leaders list. She and her husband Ruben are the proud parents of 10 year-old Sobie.