Inside 16th & L: Itzel Almazan

Inside 16th & L is our bi-weekly blog series showcasing the Independent Sector team here at the corner of 16th and L Streets in Washington, DC. Find out who we are, where we’re from, what we do, and what drives us. This week, Inside 16th & L introduces Itzel Almazan, our operations associate with an interview from Wednesday, May 3.

2016ItzelIS-43-webItzel’s role in her words…
I work in mainly finance and HR, but I do other projects around the organization as needed.

Itzel’s hometown is:
I’m fortunate to have two hometowns. The first is a little town in the state of Morelos in Mexico. The second is Falls Church, VA.

Itzel is a…

Sister – I’m a sister, first and foremost. I have an 18-year-old brother. We’re completely different. I’m very type-A and he’s very type-B with an artsy, laid-back, “life will be okay” type of mentality. I have a 10-year-old brother who’s very sweet and outgoing. He’s the first one to care for you if you’re unwell or upset. I consider myself a sister above all because I like to make sure they’re okay.

Daughter – My mom has been a big influence in my life. She made sure to teach my brothers and me to work hard and always move forward, even when times are tough.

What’s on your desk?
I have a lot of plants. Two of them are real. One of them is fake. I have a little doll and my Hedwig mug to highlight my love for Harry Potter. I also have a lot of birthday cards and pictures of pugs. I’m obsessed with pugs!

First thing you do when you get into the office?
I say good morning to everyone. I grab my mug and my bowl, go to the kitchen, and make a cup of coffee (a MUST in my routine) and a bowl of cereal. Once I have food in my system, I’m finally ready to take on the world.

What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?
I love spin class but I don’t know how to ride a real bike. I grew up riding horses, so a bike was unnecessary.

My original name had a total of nine first names.

If talent and resources were irrelevant and there were no risks, what would you pursue?
I like to think that I would have always pursued something in criminal justice, law, or science. Forensic pathology, for example, is a one field I’ve always found so interesting.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
This one’s easy: Flaming Hot Cheetos, always and forever! You add some lime juice, some salsa valentina (a hot sauce only used for snacks), and you’re good to go. The second one would be ice cream, I LOVE ice cream. I truly believe that most of the world’s problems could be solved if we just sat to talk about our differences while enjoying a bowl of ice cream. My last guilty pleasure would be documentaries about any topic.

Movies: What’s the last you watched at home? What’s the last you watched in a theater? What’s an old favorite?
At home, I would say one of the Harry Potter movies, probably The Goblet of Fire. The last movie I saw in a theater was Rogue One. It was awesome. I walked out of the movie theater in tears. I was kind of upset because I expected a happy ending, but I loved the entire movie.


An old favorite that’s not Harry Potter is the Rocky series. When I first arrived to the U.S., I spent a lot of time at home since we didn’t know anyone. At home, I would try to watch as much TV as possible to learn English. I remember that when I was flipping through channels, I saw this big guy with his dog trying to make the best of what he had. I identified with him because he was clearly working hard to achieve something. Rocky was the underdog, he wasn’t the smartest, he wasn’t the strongest, he didn’t have a lot of money, but I loved how he worked really hard and achieved something. The Rocky series is an old favorite because it always reminds me to keep on going regardless of the circumstances.

Fun fact
One of the reasons Itzel loves the Harry Potter series is because when she first came to the U.S. as a nine-year-old, she learned English by reading a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that had both English and Spanish translations.

Types: Blog
Global Topics: IS Staff