My Cart


BHM: Meet the Afro-Latina, Social Worker, Eco-Conscious who's a true Star.

Posted on February 01 2019

BHM: Meet the Afro-Latina, Social Worker, Eco-Conscious who's a true Star.

Star wears our EPP Unisex Tee

A real STAR: check out ROUND + SQUARE's Q&A with Star, and get inspired by her journey as an Afro-Latina, Social Worker and Eco-living/Veganism advocate! 


R+S: Who is Star Becco?

Star: I am Stariera Becco, and I go by the nickname “Star” because growing up it has been difficult for people to pronounce my name (laughs). Star grew on me, so I just kept it that way. I'm a Bronx, New York native born, with Puerto Rican/African American ancestry. I was born and raised in the Bronx but had the opportunity to live Upstate New York for both Undergraduate and Graduate school. I carry a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University at Buffalo and a Master’s Degree of Social Work at University at Albany. 

R+S: What do you do?

Star: Currently, I am a Social Worker servicing the Geriatric Community. Specifically, Medicaid/Medicare recipients who require managed long-term care with a Personal Care Assistant. I conduct Psychosocial Assessments in a home or by phone, which entails assessing each case as they come with the person and the family.  These individuals have various health problems; physical, mental, and emotional. They range from abnormal gait, legal blindness, stroke, tremors, cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s Dementia to Major depression, Panic Anxiety, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar disorder. I connect people to community resources based on the needed invention. I also ensure that they have the necessary medical equipment (walker, cane, oxygen tank, blood pressure machine, incontinence supplies, etc.) in the comfort of their home to prevent permanent placements, such as nursing homes.

Additionally, I have experience working with homelessness children and families from the local street to shelters. My role was to provide therapeutic case management, educational and employment resources as well as assist with the transition back to community independent living.

Prior to discovering the field of Social Work. I was a social butterfly to family, friends, customers in my retail jobs and pretty much any individual I’ve crossed paths with. Strangely as a child, I was an introvert did not talk much unless I was close to the person. Oh my, have I grown! At this point in my life, I’ve been an extrovert very outspoken, stepping outside my comfort zone, eager to learn, support and give back to those in need of assistance. People may describe me as a kind, caring, supportive, a non-judgmental listener who also have a sense of humor when appropriate.



R+S: What do you consider the most gratifying about your work?

Star: The most gratifying thing about being a Social Worker is the fact that my services are endless, which means that I can do all sorts of work with a variety of populations. I enjoy the helping profession, both the client to worker relationship and community based social services. For example, there's a 60+-year-old widowed woman, with no children or living relatives, who retired due to physical disability. She resides alone, feeling hopeless and depressed. At first, this woman was reluctant to communicate with me because I was a “young woman,” and she doubted my professional experience. I acknowledged her feelings and allowed her to repeat to me countless times that I cannot help her.

Yet, I continued to visit her home, and with time, my knowledge and approach, I gained her trust. Together we assessed her feelings, gained insight to likes and dislikes, and discovered an Adult Social Day Program where she now benefits from a great deal of adult interaction. 

She became less depressed, hopeful and looked forward to living her life despite the many challenges faced. For me, it is the encounter with an individual that matters tremendously! The way someone greets, engage, share their truth, and to be vulnerable and trusting of me, a total stranger, is so rewarding. I say rewarding in the sense that I made them feel secure in building rapport for us together work to change or improve their quality of life.

R+S: Can you share some of the challenges you have faced throughout your career?

Star: The short story mentioned in the previous question brings me to share the biggest challenges of my job. One being that when people examine my appearance, they assume because I am a younger professional, I lack expertise. Second, the difficulty working with clients and their caregivers due to the unwillingness or lack of family support to assist with problems. However, I see challenges as opportunities to grow rather than a stagnate position in my life. I always tell myself, Star keep going!

R+S: Have you faced any issues in your personal or professional life, because you are a woman and a minority?

Star: As a woman and minority, I have faced issues that started at an elementary school, where substitute male teachers would voice to the class: “Y'all won't amount to anything, the system is not built for blacks.”

I encountered this type of language, not only in New York City schools but also in my neighborhood, coming from people I know and many others surrounding us. I was young and did not really understand, but I did take those words and literally reached for the stars for higher education. I used it as motivation instead of developing a deep, dark depression.

I also faced issues being 1 of 3 minorities in my master’s program, which was made out of mostly Caucasian women. Sometimes it felt like a competition when it came to group presentations, graded papers and social justice classroom discussions. Eventually, I used my voice to share my experiences and became more culturally competent. In the end, my peers seemed intrigued by my background and appreciated me sharing my experiences. This made me feel so powerful, and I empowered them to be mindful of the minority population, as everyone story is different. 

R+S:  What is your definition of equality?

Star:  My definition of equality is non-judgmental opportunities for all individuals no matter their background, sense of self or gender orientation. Giving and retrieving is equality. 

R+S: Do you consider yourself a conscious, eco-friendly consumer? Do you live an eco-friendly lifestyle?

Star: Being vegan for about two years, I decided to transition to a natural holistic non-toxic eco lifestyle. Honestly, I became vegan because I always had terrible stomach cramps with menstruation and outside of my cycle. It used to drive me crazy with such significant bloating and painful digestion.

My sister is a Urogynecologist and suggested I cut back on my dairy consumption to determine any changes in my stomach. I was never big on cow’s milk, but the cheddar cheese, creamy Italian pasta, mac n' cheese... you name it, and I had it all! (laughs) 

With time, I did notice a significant change in my lifestyle. I had a light bulb switch and wondered what would happen if I cut out animal products altogether. Despite the challenge of eating clean and purchasing organic foods, I committed. In my community, most stores do not sell good quality produce. Therefore, I travel to various stores. I consider myself a conscious consumer who is big on quality over quantity. I shifted my mindset by limiting myself from reaching for the cheapest items in stores, reading ingredients and researching everything I may not understand before purchasing. I am a firm believer that if I desire it, believe it then I can achieve it.

I found Veganism to be so rewarding that I began visiting vegan-friendly restaurants in NYC for the experience. Also, I use my social media outlets including cooking videos on and photography on Instagram to share affordable ways of living a vegan lifestyle while living in a low-income neighborhood with limited healthier sections in supermarkets. 

R+S: How did you discover ROUND + SQUARE?

Star: I discovered ROUND + SQUARE through my friend, ocean advocate Danni Washington. Once I heard about it, I instantly said to myself: “Sweet!”

I’ve been on a hunt for an eco-friendly clothing brand as of lately, and this was the perfect match. My favorite aspect of the brand is the concern with human equality while incorporating the importance of taking care of the earth. The founder Henriette has such a sweet spirit and very knowledgeable. I am honored to have met her and share my acts of empowerment as Puerto Rican, African American woman.