While Calli Robles’ family speaks English most of the time at home, they have dance parties and singalongs to their favorite “canciones,” which is the Spanish word for songs.
Robles, a junior at South Mecklenburg High School, shared her passion for Latin American culture in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month during the Oct. 13 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education meeting.
She encouraged the community to embrace bicultural students.
“At school, Latin American students sometimes don’t feel like they can fully be themselves the way they are at home or with close friends,” she said. “That is why it is so important to celebrate Hispanic culture in the U.S.”
Her mom is from Michigan. Her dad is from Guatemala. Prior to South Meck, she attended Collinswood Language Academy, a dual language K-8 school.
“It was incredible to be taught by teachers from all over Latin America and Spain and to learn about their own cultures and traditions,” Robles said, who has participated in an exchange program with a school in Costa Rica.
Jennifer De La Jara, an at-large member of the school board, introduced Robles during the meeting, where she led the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. De La Jara described a variety of extracurricular activities Robles is involved in including the National Spanish Honor Society. She is interested in attending Davidson College or New York University.
“She is not decided on her major yet but she would like to work with social sciences or social justice issues,” De La Jara said. “She knows one thing for sure – she wants to get a minor in Spanish language and culture.”