Growing up in another country and having to come to America seeking a better future is not as simple as it may sound. Around campus, we most probably have encountered international students and workers. A current immigrant who just started working at The Catholic University of America agreed to tell me about her experience while remaining anonymous. I was having lunch at the dining hall and heard a woman speaking in Spanish. Since it is my first language, I couldn’t help but introduce myself. It turns out she is from Bolivia, a country in South America. This Bolivian woman’s facial expression immediately shifted from seriousness to excitement. She had spent only five months here in America and told how she had been struggling to learn English. I was surprised, how come she barely knows the language? She mentioned that when becomes a grave necessity, weighs more than other factors; you’d be surprised all the chances one is willing to take. “I just want my sons to go to college,” she said. “In one week, I have been blessed to earn one month’s worth of hard work back home.”
“I’m doing this for my family back home”
These people are like us in some ways, doing the best they can to raise higher. Foreigners come to the United States knowing that they are entering a country where immigrants are presented with an abundance of opportunities that they lack back home. Working here has demonstrated to provide for their economic stability, that of which has been pursued by many immigrants. Moving to another country is never easy. I too find myself in the transition to another culture, language, country, even getting used to the weather. That is why I enjoyed speaking to this woman, we both understood each other and felt connected at a certain level. I continuously asked her if she missed everything she left behind in Bolivia, and she kept repeating herself, “I’m doing this for my family back home” and smiled. There are countless stories from immigrants. Imagine fleeing your home country seeking to build something big for your future because back home your future is being destroyed. “My job is hard, it requires long hours, but when I remind myself the reason of why I’m doing this, it surely is gratifying,” she said. “My sons are everything that drives my life. Everything revolves around them; I’m truly fortunate! Life wouldn’t make sense; I wouldn’t have a purpose. I thank God every day because I am closer to sending my oldest son to a community college nearby.” When speaking to her, I realized how blessed we all are at CUA. The Bolivian woman had a trembling voice when she told me about her three sons back home.
I truly admire the people who dare to leave everything behind and sacrifice themselves for their loved ones; it’s inspiring. We are focused on our lives and pursuing a great future, but sometimes we forget to stop and reflect, think about others. Sometimes a smile, a “thank you” can make their day after working long hours a day. By taking the time to get to know some of the workers at the Catholic University, it made me much more aware of everything around me, motivated me to keep striving every day to do my best. To think about ways in which all of us can be a helping hand to them. Just last year, 1.38 million immigrants moved to the United States which allowed for a 2% increase in population. To think how many of those have been striving and working harder than most of us its touching. It’s incredible to see all these millions of people from all over the world take significant advantage of an excellent opportunity to provide for their families and a big future.
“Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States.” Migrationpolicy.org, 6 Apr. 2017, www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigran….
“Making It in America.” Global Oneness Project, 23 Mar. 2016, www.globalonenessproject.org/library/films/making-it-america.