Mydene Cuevas is a corporate commercial lawyer with a prominent firm in downtown Calgary. She was also an immigrant to Canada in 1989 along with her parents and two younger brothers.
Mydene attributes her stubborn determination and obstinate resilience from her parents, Dante and Myrna Cuevas. In particular, she credits her mother for not being able to understand the word “can’t”. One of the many instances Mydene’s mother exemplified perseverance was by attending evening classes at the University of Alberta and obtaining her Certified General Accountant designation while working as a part-time bookkeeper and caring for three young children. Rather than lamenting on how her accounting degree from the Philippines did not transfer, Myrna got down to work and earned another one instead.
Because Mydene was raised in an environment thinking she could do anything she put her mind to, she had the courage to try a lot of things. Some of the things she tried worked: she earned a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction from the University of Alberta; she taught English for the Miyagi Board of Education in Japan for three years; she, along with her husband, Michael Manzano, owned an English as a second language school in Edmonton; she earned her law degree from the University of Calgary; and she has summited Mount Fuji in Japan despite her aversion to heights.
While some of the things she tried worked, it was in times of difficulty that her character was built and her perseverance strengthened. For example, in her first year of undergraduate studies, she thought she would make an excellent scientist, until she failed what everyone else said was the easiest biology course in the program. It was experiencing the difficulties and challenges of owning her own business that Mydene developed a great appreciation for entrepreneurs. She is passionate about her career as a corporate commercial lawyer because she was once a business owner, and as a former business owner, she wants to see her clients succeed.
Now parents of two young children, Mydene and Michael desire to instill the same spirit of determination, resilience, and gratitude that Mydene’s parents had instilled in their children. She hopes that one day when her children hear the word “can’t” their response is to say “why not” and then give it their very best to do what someone said they couldn’t. Even if they fail, in their failure she hopes they develop resilience and a strong character.