2012 Imagine Award Honoree Selena Garcia
Selena was raised in an abusive household, left school in the 8th grade, and had her first child at age 16. As Selena describes it, “I grew up so fast; all I wanted was to get away from home. I wanted to build something different. Something better.”
Selena connected with CHiP in 2003. Now at age 24, she is the mother of three beautiful children. “Selena is a tremendous advocate for her kids,” shares a CHiP worker. She and her husband have determined to create a loving home where their children can thrive.
Selena is an intuitive, proactive and loving mother. When her oldest son was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, Selena’s CHiP nurse worked with her to help her understand what she needed to do to keep him safe. When her second child was struggling with a speech delay, Selena and CHIP support workers made sure he received help from a skilled therapist. When her oldest son started demonstrating hostility, she immediately sought counseling to address the roots of his aggression. During her third pregnancy – when she felt the weight of depression in her own spirit – she found the courage to access critical mental health counseling.
Despite the intense demands of her young family, Selena has continued to pursue her own dreams, nurture her own well-being, and hold true to her faith. She wants her children to know that with hard work, they can accomplish anything. In the past several years, Selena received her certification in cosmetology with honors, and she is currently working towards her GED. She hopes that by continuing to make her own education a priority, her children will see the importance of staying in school.
Selena has become an active member of the Parent Advisory Committee, giving valuable feedback that helps strengthen services. “Selena’s progress over the years has been phenomenal when you realize the barriers she has overcome in this life, and yet she still approaches each and every day wanting to do more.”
A poem, penned by a friend and posted on her refrigerator, describes some of Selena’s inspiring attributes: a special beauty that is rare, expressive, loving, fair, eternal, noble, and bright as the sun.