Spotlight on Commerce: Karen Garcia, Special Advisor to the Executive Director of SelectUSAOctober 4, 2016
This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.
As Special Advisor to the Executive Director of SelectUSA, I advise the Executive Director on a range of policy and operational processes that allow us to use the convening power of the U.S. government to showcase this nation as the prime location for investment and ultimately job creation.
I was born and raised in Colorado to parents who arrived from Mexico in search of their very own American dream. Inspired by my parents, one thing was engrained in me, dedicate completely to education – as it is the only way to achieve not only a better life, but also a gratifying career. After a few years, I became the first person in my family to graduate from high school and go to college. Once at the University of Colorado in Boulder I decided to major in International Affairs and Italian, where I submerged myself in international issues I observed while in Mexico. I subsequently obtained my Master’s Degree in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs at American University, where my desire to work in the public sector only strengthened.
Through my educational and professional career, I’ve received immense support from a number of successful Hispanic Americans and organizations such as the Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities who have all contributed to who and where I am now. As I meet younger generations of Hispanic Americans interested in my field, I encourage them to be active and grow their social capital by: engaging in the issues important to them and their communities; seek out the volunteer and professional opportunities available throughout the country and abroad; and more importantly to work hard and zealously at everything they do.
As the Hispanic Heritage Month continues, I cannot help but think of a quote by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, my favorite author: “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” As a Mexican American connected to her roots, I see and hear the hundreds of thousands of dreams alive in the Hispanic American community and I hope I can assist in keep the dreams alive and the dreamers young.