Sacrifices that Build Dreams: A Family’s Journey to a Brighter Tomorrow

Four years ago, Luis Martinez and Isabel Hernandez made a life-altering decision. Faced with increasing violence and diminishing opportunities in their hometown in Mexico, the couple, prioritizing the safety and future of their three children, embarked on a journey to the United States.

“In Mexico, I worked hard to achieve my goals,” says Hernandez. “It was very difficult to leave everything behind.”

Hernandez had spent a considerable portion of her professional life working as a computer technician for over ten years. “Sometimes I have crises, thinking about everything I wanted for my career and what I had achieved, but my family comes first.”

Settling in Los Baños, California, Hernandez chose to devote herself to her children’s adjustment to their new environment. It was during English lessons at her daughter’s school that she first learned about the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE). “I didn’t know what it was, but if it was going to help my children, then I was going to be there,” she recalls.

Hernandez’s relentless encouragement of her children is rooted in her belief in the abundance of opportunities in their new home. “I ask them, ‘What do you want your future to look like? There are many opportunities here, but you have to work hard to build the future you want,’” she says. She knows she can’t be with them all the time, but she wants them to know that she will always be there to support them. “It may not seem like much, but it helps and motivates them.”

One significant concern for Hernandez was the fear that her children might struggle academically due to language barriers, potentially hindering their college aspirations. However, PIQE’s workshops helped serve as a valuable guide, helping her discover resources and tools to provide financial aid and support so her children could attend college. “The PIQE program is different from others I have taken, it might be because it is taught by parents like us, who have been through this and talk to you in a way that makes sense to you. They share the same vision as us – we all want a better future for our children.”

This knowledge proved invaluable as her eldest son, Luis, began his final year of high school. Guided by Hernandez’s newfound understanding and insights from PIQE, Luis is now navigating the college application process with confidence.

Hernandez vividly remembers a conversation with Luis, where her involvement and understanding of his educational journey brought them closer. “Figure out what you want and follow that path. Stay close to your counselor, attend all the student meetings, get all the information and assistance you need.”

Mrs. Hernandez’s story is a testament to the power of education, community support, and the resilience of immigrant families seeking a better life. It’s a narrative of hope, struggle, and the unyielding pursuit of a brighter future – a story that resonates with many families in Los Angeles and beyond.