It’s hard to move ahead when you’re defined by your deficits. This is the lesson my mother learned years ago as a low-income, single Latina working to raise two kids and get ahead in San Jose in the 1950s. And it is the lesson that motivates me every day to change the way we fight poverty in this country.
My mother moved from Mexico to the United States with my sister and me when I was 8 years old. She wanted a better life and a better future for her children. Despite only having a third-grade education, she was determined to make a better life and a better future for her children. She was a tenacious, talented, hardworking woman.