I chose my passport as the object that symbolizes my immigration journey. It represents the first step and also signifies my persistence and determination to a better life. In December 2011, I was in a situation where I had to move from my mother’s home due to an altercation. At this time I was still in high school and I thought to myself everyday that I had to do something to make my life better. Luckily I received a call from one of my relatives in the US and they suggested that I migrate from Jamaica as soon as the semester ends. Although I had a valid visa, my passport had been expired for 2 years and being that I was 18, I had to renew it myself. Alone and on my own, I relied on my family in the US for money to renew my passport. Obtaining a new passport was not an easy task as I went to the Passport office multiple times before getting approved. At first, my pictures did not meet their requirements therefore I had to take new photos and get them signed by the Justice of Peace. When I returned to the passport office, the officer told me that I needed to retake the pictures. I started crying; at the time I didn’t have any money for transportation or to take new pictures. She felt sorry for me and processed my application. I got my passport, booked a flight to NY. My father dropped me at the airport, left my bags on the curb and my journey in America began.
– Donique Hardware