In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are highlighting stories from DA employees and what inspired them to pursue a career in public service. Meet Senior Accountant Karen Castillo McCabe, who has been with the DA’s Office since 2016.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your position and how you got where you are?
I was born and raised in Lima, Peru. My grandparents were our next-door neighbors and I had cousins across the street. I lived the typical, wonderful Latin-American childhood surrounded by a lot of family and friends.
Thanks to my parent’s efforts, and after my senior year in high school, I came to the United States to finish my education. I attended Grossmont College while working in a Jack in the Box restaurant. I transferred and went on to graduate from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. After obtaining my degree I went to work for the Jack in the box Corporate Office on their accounting team.
I was always taught by example, the value of hard and honest work in public service. My dad was a police officer and my mom an attorney, who served as a judge before coming to the United States. Because of their example, I sought an opportunity to work at District Attorney’s Office and so far, it has been very rewarding. I am now a senior accountant with the Administration Division, and I know how very important our work is to our community. My efforts help to support the various programs that improve the lives of everyone who lives in San Diego. I am happy to serve the people and make this area a better place to live for me and my growing family.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you? Why is it important?
Hispanic heritage is very present in my household. I show my kids (Marco, 4, and Bianca, 1) that we are Peruvian, we speak Spanish and we value our traditional foods and dances. We are also proud that our ancestors, the Incas, had great engineering and agricultural knowledge that combined with hard work, turned their community into one of the greatest empires.
Hispanic Heritage Month is important because it gives us an opportunity to share and learn more about our culture as well as others. This helps our community be more inclusive and understanding with one another. When we celebrate what makes us unique it allows our differences to become special and dear to us. It has given my son a sense of great pride to point on a map where his mother is from and say “yo hablo Español también.”