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Valley radio personality speaks out about Hispanic heritage

Priscilla Ornelas said she never thought she’d have a platform to share her life experiences and heritage.

PHOENIX — Every morning people wake up, drive to work and head to school listening to Priscilla Ornelas.

The “Mathew & Priscilla In the Morning” show on Mix 96.9 is one of the most popular morning shows in the Valley. 

Ornelas said she never thought she’d have a platform – not only to connect over music, but also to share her life experiences and heritage.

“It's really easy to incorporate my culture in my show because it's who I am. I'm not shy about it; I am a proud Mexican-American,” said the radio personality.

Ornelas said life is great now, but the Glendale native had some challenges growing up.

“My parents did have a bit of a struggle with their immigration process. And so we actually moved back to Mexico when I was young.” said Ornelas.

But her mother knew that Priscilla’s future was in the United States.

“So she actually made the decision -- as a single mom -- to leave Mexico by herself and come to America and try to embrace us and she got a job as a housekeeper,” Ornelas remembered. 

“I mean, we started from the bottom, like we were in a studio apartment the three of us."

But it’s these experiences that make her a unique voice on the radio; Priscilla Ornelas is known to be raw and authentic. 

She’s also started a podcast, “Sopita for your Spirit”, where she shares stories and life’s lessons and chronicles her life with her husband and two daughters.

“Being married to a white man has been interesting because you are stuck between two cultures; he doesn't know any Spanish, and Spanish was my first language,” Ornelas said. 

“But I was really vocal about the importance of continuing on our culture. I mean, my kids are Hispanic too.”

Ornelas said she knows her success today all goes back to her mother’s struggles and sacrifices. She can’t thank her enough for the life she has now.

“She left the country to do better and give us better and then this is what came of it like makes me really proud. And I know it makes my family really proud. The struggles that my family went through is really worth it, so it's really cool.” said Ornelas.

Ornelas and Matthew Blades can be heard on Mix 96.9 from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday and on their Podcasts “Sopita for Your Spirit” and Matthew and Pricilla On Demand.

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