Erika Sanchez, Live your Life

Raul Padilla, Features Editor

In this month’s ongoing Distinguished Speaker Series organized by the BCSGA (Bakersfield College Student Government Association) and the Office of Student Life, guest speaker Erika Sanchez was invited to deliver a speech about her experiences growing up and the impact that she has made as a writer. The meeting took place via Zoom Webinar at 10am on March 24.

Erika Sanchez is best known for being the author of the bestselling novel, “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” as well as a poet being featured in various literary journals and websites such as

Erika spoke of her time during childhood in which she had to overcome much hardship, struggling with depression and expectations that were set on her, and longing after things that she believed were far out of her reach.

“I felt that I was being raised to be a wife, when all I wanted to do was to write books and be able to travel the world all by myself” she explained.

After university, graduating with a degree in fine arts and poetry in 2010, she did not know what to do with herself as it was unfortunately timed during the recession during that period.

Feeling overqualified and wasting her time on many jobs, she eventually began writing to begin making the change she wanted to make, modern Latinx representation in books.

“Most of the books available to me were the middle class white kids in the suburbs and their worlds were unfamiliar… needless tosay there wasn’t a book I could relate to, I was desperate to see myself” Sanchez stated.

From there she began work on her best known book, “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.” Despite it being rejected several times due to her main character seen as too abrasive, she pushed through believing that it was important her character was real and alive.

Sanchez began finishing her speech, saying that literature key to challenge oppressive power structures such as the one she had lived through, as they are a way to express possibilities, nuances, and transcend borders.

“To the young women here, I have a few pieces of advice, you don’t have to accept the norms that you were born into… be proud to be different… always for what you want, no one in society will give it to you.”