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After her family immigrated to the United States, Deborah looked forward to pursuing her college degree. She found a home at Esperanza College of Eastern University. Here, she was surrounded by other students who had similar journeys and lived experiences to her own.

With Spanish as her primary language, Deborah sought to enroll in community college but found that she would have to take language classes before she could begin her studies – and at a full tuition rate. A friend introduced Deborah to Esperanza’s educational opportunities, which opened new doors. At Esperanza College, Deborah could receive built in language supports and learn at a fraction of the time and cost.

Deborah had a strong passion for children and decided to study Early Childhood Education. Although she had moments when she felt like giving up, she was surrounded by bilingual faculty and peers who believed in her. She graduated with her associate degree in Early Childhood Education as Valedictorian of her class!

Deborah completed her bachelor’s degree at Eastern University and became a Spanish teacher, helping older youth to navigate their emotions and experiences through language so that they would be in a better position to learn. Deborah is now pursuing her master’s degree in Psychology and hopes to become a school guidance counselor. Each step was one she could not have imagined before.

Deborah’s vision and confidence continue to grow. Like many of our students and clients, she sees Esperanza as a home she can return to – a community of supporters, donors, faculty, and friends. To be known, understood, and empowered are priceless gifts.

Deborah imparts her wisdom to others to follow: “When I was able to graduate…and when they told me I was going to be valedictorian because of my grades… it made me really proud of myself that I am capable to do more than I think…I came here knowing English but when I started taking classes that helped me a lot… Never give up!”

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