Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Selicia Sanchez-Adame
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, celebrating the histories, traditions, cultures, languages, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Over the next four weeks, the Chamber will be featuring four community leaders. We asked each of them to share their perspectives and how being Hispanic has influenced their lives, personally and professionally.
Could you share a bit about your experience growing up as a Hispanic?
Growing up as a Latina had its ups and downs. The main challenge that I faced as a Latina became obvious to me once I became a business owner at the age of 26. It was apparent at that time that Hispanics were not treated and viewed the same as our counterparts. I recognized the need to adjust my mindset and not worry about trying to fit in but remain confident in my identity as a Latina. Growing up, I was determined to remain true to myself and not let anything change me into something I was not. Having this mindset may have opened up additional challenges however, it allowed me to show other community leaders my authentic self and what I was capable of contributing. The most important outcome from my community involvement is to open the door for the next generation of Latinos and Latinas to take initiative and become involved while being comfortable with who they are.
With the challenges you have faced, what keeps you motivated and positive?
It is about having a strong support system that can include family, friends, colleagues, and mentors. When your support system advocates for your success and growth, it’s hard to lose the motivation and drive. More specifically, my mother has always been my main support and cheerleader. As I have grown personally and in my career, I find that being someone else’s cheerleader the way others were for me has become my passion.
Why do you think it is so important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
Our culture is rich with influences from other countries, so it’s important for us to learn about our own culture, how we are connected, and celebrate who we are. This strengthens the Latino community by allowing others to learn from one another. I am proud that my childhood was filled with Hispanic traditions. Most importantly, I enjoy seeing others embrace the different cultures within the same community, for example, the Dia de los Muertos event celebrated in Round Rock for the last 9 years. This year marks our 10th anniversary, benefiting the Round Rock Ballet Folklorico and supported by the City of Round Rock. I hope everyone will attend the event on Saturday, November 4th, at the Centennial Plaza from 12pm-9pm. For more information, please visit www.roundrockballetfolklorico.org.
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