Maria E's Story

During a very tumultuous time in Colombia, South America, my mother decided to leave everything behind. Under the pretense that we were coming on a family trip to visit Disney World, she left her administrative career, home, and country. In 1988, we arrived to Miami, Florida with $1,000 and tourist visas. Thank God my aunt already lived in the United States!  

My aunt kept insisting to my mother to stay, so she could better provide for her daughters since she was recently divorced. As a result, we moved to cold, Cleveland, Ohio! We were unable to speak English and it was definitely a culture shock.  

However, within a month I was enrolled in a bilingual school, and within six months, I was able to understand and speak chopped-up English. I continued to excel in school and graduated from college. I thank my mother every day for making the decision she made! I would not be the person that I am today without her tenacity!