Selina Sosa is a serial-entrepreneur with three businesses in diverse fields, from the food truck industry to life coaching and a non-profit for young Latinas.
Supporting young Latinas’ success with non-profit
A transplant from New York, Selina currently resides in Texas with her family who are the love and joy of her life. Always working toward a goal, she is currently pursuing a degree in cultural anthropology, all while working full-time and juggling her three businesses: Flavors of the Islands, a food truck she runs with her husband; Selina Sosa Coaching, a coaching business for career development, and Ethnic Perspective, a non-profit for young Latinas.
Selina founded Ethnic Perspective in October of 2016 after seeing a need in the community, especially for young Latinas. She noticed there was a lack of Latina representation in many areas of business, education, science and technology.
“I set out to find women who are making strides in every field and bring a more personal approach to their accomplishments,” she says. “I founded Ethnic Perspective to encourage young women to define their own ideas of success by means of entrepreneurship through education and mentoring.”
This has been a great passion in Selina’s life and while there have been many hurdles, she continues to look for ways to connect and collaborate with other women to ensure our young Latinas are not left behind.
“Anything you start will be met with obstacles or struggles,” says Selina.
When she began her non-profit, some of the obstacles she first encountered were around money. “I did not realize the financial investment I would be making starting a non-profit,” she says. “The laws and regulations were not in my area of expertise.”
Luckily, Selina had people to act as a helping hand and walk her through the process, as well as a plethora of resources online.
One obstacle she was not prepared for however, was getting women to trust what she was bringing with her organization.
“In that process, I saw a great lack of support,” she says. “Many people expressed a lack of inclusivity. Why only Latina girls? That was always the question. The truth is why not? Our culture, upbringing, beliefs tend to be vastly different. To meet the needs of a people group, you have to interpret the culture. The hardest part was when other Latina women would also come down on our cause. My heart is still set on changing that narrative.”
“You have the power to change the narrative”
As a minority business owner, Selina cites her biggest strengths as accountability, honesty, and a drive to finish no matter how hard. She also holds firmly to the belief that: “If you have started anything, you did it because you manifested an innate desire to succeed or make a difference.”
These strengths and beliefs are her core foundation that have helped her build her successful businesses and push through hardships.
“On the days that I feel like giving up because I do not see the outcome I hoped for, I remember why I started. Nothing worth fighting for comes easy. Every business established requires a firm foundation to last, if you leave before that foundation is laid it will never achieve its maximum potential,” says Selina.
Part of laying this foundation is putting in the work and not being afraid to fail. Through all her years in business, Selina has learned not to give up and not to be afraid of failure.
“Everything requires work, so put the work in. Failure can only come if you try,” she says. “So do it! Make the move. If one strategy is not working, seek another. Keep the pieces on the board moving. It will be the only way to succeed.”
Another key to creating a strong foundation is to know when to ask for help. “As Latinas we often have this ‘I can do it all’ pride –and we can– however, that does not mean you can’t have help along the way,” Selina reminds us.
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Selina is grateful to all the women who saw her vision and helped her make her non-profit for young Latinas a reality.
“I can not speak about the organization without shining a light on those that helped me start the venture,” she says. “Shelly Cassady was with me from the beginning and was the VP for 4 years. She helped bring insight from the perspective of an educator. Briana Reyes & Rikeisha Cunningham-Byrd were my two college students who were on our board of directors. They helped provide insight into the needs of their generation. Since then the faces of our organization have changed but the heart behind the mission has not.”
These women and others helped give Selina balance and clarity as she built Ethnic Perspective and together they also published a book, Rise Up to Greatness, to share their inspiring stories as women, entrepreneurs, and Latinas.
“We wanted other women to know no matter where you started, you have the power to change the narrative of your ending,” says Selina about the book. “In the process of all of this, my mother was fighting a battle with cancer. When I wrote the book, I was able to share with her my vision and stories about things that happened that she did not know about growing up. She was able to see my book be published, and I was able to hear her express her love and that she was proud.”
Unfortunately, a year after Selina had begun this journey, her mother lost her battle with cancer.
“There is something about the loss of someone who meant everything to you, that gives you the drive to succeed. She would have loved all that we were able to accomplish and I know would have been standing right there with me along the journey.”
Now, Selina continues her journey, helping other young Latinas succeed and reach their own dreams.
Ethnic Perspective is dedicated to stepping up their efforts in addressing issues within Hispanic communities through cooperation and community empowerment. They strive to make a difference, and invite you to learn more here.