22nd ARW member earns spotlight performer

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Laura L. Valentine
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Senior Airman Maria Ruiz, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs still photography journeyman, has been in the Air Force for five years. The Los Angeles native enjoys reading, spending time with her family, working out and drawing. She has been stationed at McConnell for four years with her husband Gregory Hoyt, daughters Desiree, 9, and Jennifer, 1, and her brother Hector Ruiz.

Who is the most positive influence in your life and why?
My mother has been the most positive influence in my life. She taught me to always be true to myself, exert 100 percent into everything I do and see the beauty in everyday life, no matter how dark it can sometimes become.

What would you like to accomplish during your Air Force career?
I would like to become a positive influence and motivator to the Airmen that I interact with everyday. Sometimes a simple smile or a sincere conversation can change the way another Airmen feels for the day or how they interact with someone else; thus, creating a better working environment for everyone. I would also like to see myself as an U.S. Air Force recruiter.

Where is the most interesting place you have traveled and why do you feel that way?
The most interesting place that I have been to is Maryland for photography technical school. That is the farthest place from home that I have been. I feel this was the most interesting place because that is the location where I experienced the transition from a basic military training trainee to a functional military member.

What is your favorite book/ movie and why?
My favorite book is "The Story of Ferdinand." This is one of the first books that I picked up as a child when I was feeling like the "odd kid" of the group. It showed me that everyone has a special characteristic that makes him special and that it was a true gift to be able to accept that in oneself and in others.

If you have the opportunity to meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Without a doubt it would be Lucille Ball. She is one of the top comedians of her time, owned a television/ movie studio and became one of the most well-known television actresses. Her acting ability and dramatic influence became an example of how a woman can overcome personal strife, and then harness that positive influence and power for a greater calling.