Five-year-old Jadel was jumping around the plane too excited to sit still. They were going to America again, but unlike Texas, this time it would be permanent. The stewardess gave her a cookie to settle her down between her mother and younger sister. The three of them were off to America chasing the economic opportunity that they would not have in Cotija, Mexico. Upon arriving in New Rochelle, New York, Jadel starting learning English and worked hard in school because she understood education to be a privilege that her mother did not have back in Cotija. They lived in a large house with nine other family members, which was cramped, but also a space full of family love. Soon, the three of them moved into their own apartment and Jadel began to thrive in school emerging as the leader for numerous activities. Eventually, Jadel graduated with a full scholarship to college. Jadel, now a student at Cornell University, is interested in law and social research, specifically focusing on the psychology behind child immigrants. She wears a necklace of Saint Benedict’s metal that was given to her by her aunt in Cotija for protection against the evil eye and to remind her of her family in Mexico. Every day, Jadel is grateful for her mother’s bravery and determination which enabled her to immigrate with two young children and give Jadel the opportunity to craft her own future with education.
– Talia Kornreich