On my 13th birthday, I received a necklace from my father. He explained to me its importance as it was his first notable purchase in the United States – a symbol of his success from humble beginnings. In fact, nearly two decades prior to this interaction, my father found himself on an eleven hour long trip from Santiago to New York City. This was the start of his new life, and he was fully aware of the journey’s implications of desolation. He was able to eventually find work at a taxi-driving company. He had committed to this company until my freshman year of high school. Growing up, I would see my father come home at midnight daily, looking worn out and drained in his efforts to support my financially struggling family. When he announced his plan of quitting the job and using his savings to start his own construction company, my life drastically changed. My father was no longer subject to working hours he could not control, but rather became the leader of a group of hard-working employees. This chain, in a sense, is one of the products of this story. To me it is symbolic of hope and raises curiosity as to where my life will take me.
– Michael Urbina