Jessica Herrera recently became a high school graduate. She graduated with honors and a 5.5 gpa. She made sure to turn in her homework on time, to get to her classes early, and to study diligently for exams. What is incredible about her story? Jessica Herrera is homeless.
While many high school students complain that they don’t have enough time for their homework, Jessica’s teachers never heard any complains from her. Nobody knew what Jessica was facing when she left school to go “home.” Her parents are Nicaraguan immigrants and after losing their job they were evicted of their house. Her family spent many nights walking the streets of Miami, looking for a shelter and during those cold nights Jessica would be thinking about the homework that she had to turn in the next day.
She contemplated dropping out of high school to help support her family through hard times, however her parents told her to focus on school. She even had encouragement from the homeless people at the shelter who have kept an eye on her educational progress and would remind her to do her homework. Jessica proudly became the first person in her entire family to earn a high school degree. To add to that, she recently accepted a full scholarship to Florida International University.
Jessica is a symbol of hope and perseverance. She is a reminder that any obstacle can be overcome and as she says “Anything is possible as long as you work hard enough for it.”
Read Jessica’s story at nbcmiami.com
The 11 year old Olivia Bouler wept when she heard about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Devastated, she contacted Audubon Society to help them raise money for cleanup costs. She decided to use her artistic talent to thank the donors who contribute to the oil spill relief efforts. Olivia started sending out her original bird illustrations to donors. People were touched by her wonderful idea and very soon many more donations were made to receive Olivia’s illustrations and help her raise money. The 11 year old girl raised over $100,000 to help with oil spill relief efforts. Olivia believes “If you can do something to help, always do it.” So instead of complaining about the disaster, let’s all think about what we can do to help.
You can read more about Olivia and see her wonderful drawings at www.aolartists.com
The World Cup is close to ending. Of course it showcases the world’s premiere soccer teams and players and provides hours of top tier entertainment for most of us, however if we take time to reflect on this global sports phenomenon, we can come to the realization that the World Cup means so much more. Instead, it is a celebration of cultures coming together to share an experience echoed around the world. A game that brings the world together. In this day and age, players have the ability to choose to play for a team they best identify with and in many cases, place of birth and skin color mean nothing. All that matters is how strong of a connection exists between player and country. In the 2010 World Cup, a number of players will be playing for countries they have immigrated to that they have now called their home.
Let this be a reminder that although we associate ourselves with a particular country, each of us is a part of one global community that we can all call home. Check out the rest of the story at Reform Immigration for America to see which players we are talking about and to learn more about their journey to the 2010 World Cup.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”