I was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and I have lived in Albuquerque for five years. When I moved here I was not doing much, I did not work and did not have friends, I thought my life was too peaceful. That is when I started taking the exams for the GED and I passed them. After that I applied to go to college and for financial aid and got approved. I am currently studying Business at the Central New Mexico Community College and I hope to transfer to the University of New Mexico to get a bachelor’s degree in 2017. This has not been easy but I do it with a great desire to learn and be a productive part of my community. However, all these were not enough because my English was limited. I could not get a job and, most importantly, I did not have any connections here.
That is when FII came into my life. I learned about FII through a college friend in February 2015 and joined. Everything changed for me. With FII, I found open doors, opportunities, and people who are truly interested in contributing to the community. Today, I work as a Team Leader at Whittier Elementary School through the Service Corps program at UNM, which supports project services in the community.
Many things have changed in my life, but the most important is that I am making connections. I have learned about available resources and how to use them, I did my taxes for the first time, I have medical insurance, and got a scholarship from AmeriCorps and the Mexican Consulate. I took the workshop Creating Safe Communities with Teacher Solutions and Immigration Seminar as member of AmeriCorps. I learned how families establish priorities and fight against economic difficulties.
Now, I share with neighbors, FII families and Fellows. I help others and get help from them. Of course I have also received economic benefits that help me get ahead. FII is helping me create good habits by creating goals and following up with them. I know I still have a lot to learn but I am creating a firm foundation, making strong connections, and improving my finances.
I would like to improve my English skills, get my bachelor degree, and work in an area that will allow me to provide support to my community.