My name is Claudia Betancourt. I am from Colombia, I came to New York on September 5, 1985. I am an intermediate English student at the Immigrant Service Program at Sunnyside Community Service. I was only 17 when my mom told me that we were moving to New York. My father had called my mother with the good news that our papers for residency were ready. It was shocking for me because I was in my Junior year in High School, and unfortunately, I didn’t get to complete my studies. I didn’t want to leave my friends, it was too sad. I thought about my father and his sacrifice in finalizing all the paper work so that we can become residents of the USA. I do remember crying for most of the five-hour flight. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy for my mom, my sister and me.
We came with our luggage full of memories and valuable collectables from back home. The valuable collectables contained value for us. Within the luggage, a small cooking pot, a hand made coffee bag, and some small coffee cups. September 5th was the beginning of a new life for my family and me in a beautiful and structural city. “The Big Apple”, The City That Never Sleeps”.
– Claudia Betancourt