The “American Dream” ideology is a notion that resonates worldwide. This concept of prosperity and upward mobility for families and communities is what attracts so many people to this country. Hoping that hard work and determination will allot them the life they’ve always wanted.
Aberg Center student, Liliana Huerta is going for her “American Dream” with those very aspirations in mind.
Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, Liliana was 1 of 8 siblings growing up. The long distance from schools and economic hardships prevented her from getting the education she needed. “I worked in my mother’s clothing store to help support our family so there wasn’t a lot of learning time.” recalled Liliana. She knew if she wanted to fulfill her dreams, she would have to take a big step, leave her home and seek an education in the United States.
Liliana arrived in the U.S. at age 21, unsure but resilient. She knew that learning to read and speak English would help her odds of future success tremendously. She also knew that there was little chance of finding a learning facility where she could afford tuition for classes. A friend recommended her to a nonprofit that specialized in literacy programs and learning the English language with no tuition fees. Liliana’s decision to take classes at Aberg Center would change the course of her future forever.
Liliana signed up for English classes and was very nervous after her first day. “I was shy and in a new place…” Liliana remembers. But more importantly, she believed in herself and knew that Aberg Center had provided her with the opportunity to learn in a healthy, inclusive environment.
Fast forward to 2017 and Liliana is thriving! She is currently enrolled in the ESL Level 5 class and also has her youngest son, Mateo, enrolled in the Early Childhood Program. She has done so well in her studies that she was able to take and pass the citizenship test in English and is now a United States citizen! Her next goal is to become a high school graduate by acquiring her GED. She still travels home every Christmas to see her family and show them how far she has come.
“I miss the food and the culture back home, but I’m glad I can go back and visit every year.” she says.
Liliana credits Aberg Center for helping her to provide for herself and her family. “Helping others succeed is what Aberg Center does. They took me in, changed my life and can help so many people with their literacy programs.” she says.
Liliana hopes to pursue a career as a dental assistant when she finishes her studies. Her current and future achievements are examples of why Aberg Center for Literacy will continue its mission of building richer lives, stronger families and better communities.