This woman, Carmen Bogarin-Martinez, is my grandmother. She represents determination, strength, and success. She came to the U.S., at the age of 20 as an undocumented immigrant, in pursuit of her higher education. On her arrival she started to attend a community college at night, while working a full-time job during the day. A year later she married, two years later she gave birth to my mom, and she continue to go to college at night for a while until my mom became an asthmatic. For this reason she had to put her studies aside for a while to take care of her family and she continue to work full-time. Then, she changed careers, and she became a Real Estate Agent. She chose this career to have more time to take care of my mom. She was very successful at it. She appeared in the Real Estate section of the Daily Breeze very frequently as a top producer. When my older brother, Christian was diagnosed with leukemia, my grandmother spent two-and-a-half months in the hospital with him. When they were released from the hospital, my grandmother went back to college to complete her dream. She graduated with honors with two AA degrees, from Harbor College in 2011. In 2013, she graduated with honors from Dominguez Hills University, and was admitted to four universities for her Master’s Degree, She went to UCLA. This is a woman that because of her courage and determination, on her early fifties, she accomplished her goal of attaining her higher education.

– Noah Hernandez

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