Diane Guerrero’s success stems from her sheer determination and vision. The 29-year-old actress is now known from her roles in Orange Is The New Black and Jane The Virgin but before conquering Hollywood she had to fight for what truly mattered to her the most, her family.
Born in New Jersey and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Guerrero was only 14 years-old when her parents and older brother were deported to Colombia. The unfortunate set of circumstances left Guerrero to fend for herself. With the help of friends, she attended the Boston Arts Academy and later moved to New York to fulfill her dream of becoming an actress.
She worked on a slew of independent short films such as Ashley/Amber (2011) and features like Festival (2011) and Open Vacancy (2012). She made her television debut in the series Body of Proof and then had a stunt on Are We There Yet?.
Her career took a big turn when she was cast in the Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black as the rebellious and sassy Maritza Ramos. Now on its third seasons, the show has given Guerrero a platform to be able to speak out about the issues that really matter to her. In 2014, she opened up about her family’s deportation in an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times, in which she detailed the struggles and heartbreak she went through at a young age.
Now, in an effort to pay it forward, the young starlet sheds light on immigration reform and supports Mi Familia Vota, a national non-profit organization that promotes social and economic justice. Guerrero hopes to inspire and move Latinos to vote in the upcoming election.
Her participation in OITNB helped her nab a role in Jane The Virgin opposite Gina Rodriguez. Despite participating in two hit series, Guerrero isn’t slowing down. She recently wrapped production on Happy Yummy Chicken, a mokumentary about two men making a musical about a woman who sits in a fried chicken restaurant for two months after a break up. She will return for season two of Jane The Virgin and season four of OITNB.
*Article originally published on Variety Latino 9.23.15