Dascha Polanco, known for her role as Dayanara “Daya” Diaz on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, is the latest cover star for Latina. The 32-year-old break-out star is from the Dominican Republic, but was raised in Brooklyn, NY. In the cover story the mother of two (yes, she has two daughters who she remains tight-lipped about, in an effort to shield them from the public and media’s scrutiny) dishes on her upbringing; how she stays motivated in the game and how she battled depression. Peep a few excerpts.
What keeps her motivated:
That rawness is what keeps me hungry. I don’t take anything for granted when I’m given the chance to work with people I’ve admired. I never feel entitled. I don’t think that this is really happening yet. I don’t think that I deserve it.
Being the oldest of three children of a mechanic father and a mother who aspired to become a teacher:
I remember my mom would take me and my sister and brother with her to Kingsborough Community College. She would leave us outside the classroom, and we would wait for her there. Sometimes I would read things for her and help her write [papers]. I was in sixth grade and helping her with homework.
Becoming a single mother at 18 and having a child born two months prematurely, with her daughter weighing only two pounds:
She’s a blessing, a mir- acle baby but for a first experience, it was difficult.
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