Looking back at my family’s journey, moving to the U.S. gave my mom, my sister, and I many opportunities that I think would have been harder to achieve if we stayed back home. My mom was able to attain her Bachelor’s degree and focus in the field she always wanted to be in, put my sister, Irene, and I through college, and both had the opportunity to focus on our careers. Though, looking back at how my family migrated to this country and seeing where we are today, it wasn’t an easy journey for my mom. Katerina moved to the United States from Greece in December of 1984, 21 years old, just a few months after her and dad, Michael, had their arranged married.
Their future was decided by other family members but they both agreed to it for a chance to move to the land of opportunity, a chance for a better life, a chance to have their own business to support their family and aspirations. Both grew up on an island, during a time where Greece was starting to get urbanized but with few opportunities compared to in the U.S. Listening to their stories of living here the people that weren’t kind to them and looked down on them were surprisingly members of the Greek community. Though her smile, kindness, and determination allowed mom to overcome a lot of obstacles after moving to this country. Granted, mistakes were made along the way, though mom, Irene and I we able to stay united and support each other during those times.
My mother’s stories are constant reminders to be grateful for what my sister and I have and how much more we can achieve because it wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for her.