We had the good fortune of connecting with Veronica Velasquez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Veronica, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my instagram @thisptlife as a way to document my journey as a new graduate physical therapist. I utilized my instagram page to showcase a typical day as a new therapist, the growing pains & lessons I was going through as a young professional, and my journey into the big scary world of “adulthood”. I wanted me page to be a creative outlet as well as a way to connect with other clinicians and students. Additionally, I have been able to shed light on my journey as an undocumented immigrant & be a voice for an often silenced community.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
At a baseline, I would say I am a physical therapist. But the fuller story is that I am an undocumented healthcare provider. I have had to overcome many barriers, rejections, and naysayers to finally get to the point of saying something as simple as “I am a physical therapist”. Simply getting into a graduate program was its own struggle, with institutions revoking their acceptance letters when finding out my undocumented status. I attended undergrad and graduate school with fear of living in the shadows, deportation, and a 4 year presidency that openly denounced and insulted my undocumented community.

I am most proud to use my platform to strongly, loudly, and unapologetically say I am undocumented. I love showing that every barrier was no match to my grit and resilience. I love giving hope to other undocumented students and showing them that they can achieve their goals despite any naysayers.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would honestly show my friends all the Filipino small businesses around LA. Amazing food, drinks, and vibes. So here are the places we would hit up:

Food is my love language.

– Lasita
As a proud Filipina, I absolutely love the Californian twist in all these Lasita Filipino food dishes. I definitely love the intimate and cool atmosphere of this restaurant.

– Spoon & Pork LA
Modern Filipino comfort food is a MUST for a casual lunchtime catch up!

Coffee is very necessary to indulge my sweet tooth.

– Teofilo Coffee
Their menu includes super creative drinks like the Ube Latte or Pandan Latte. Coffee with a pinoy twist!

Gotta get some draaaanks!

– Genever Bar
Women owned bar located in Historic Filipinotown with amazing gin based drinks!

Gotta show my love for my spicy, rom com books,

– Bel Canto Books
A super cute indie bookstore that is Pinay woman owned! From spicy rom coms, to fantasy, YA, and even thriller genres, this is the bookstore to check out!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are 2 individuals that have given me undying support and love throughout every part of my journey.

1. A enormous shout out to my mom. One of the kindest, funniest, and still most badass women I know. I don’t know many people with her work ethic and I hope to one day emulate her strength.

2. I find myself incredibly lucky to have a partner that supports me with every crazy idea and that pushes me through every doubt & worry I have. Big shoutout to my fiancé Jacob for being my most important supporter, my most trusted sounding board, and the love of my life.

Instagram: thisptlife

Image Credits
Jeremy Allen Photography (IG: _jeremyallenphoto ) credit to red scrubs photo Ivan Kashinsky (IG: ivankphoto ) credit to hospital photo with patient

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.