Maria Del Mar Gongora Valencia

I didn’t want to come to the United States of America, because I had a good job, my family, house, car, business, and all my things in Colombia. I asked for a tourist visa twice, but the Government didn’t give it to me. My husband has resident status (by his mother) but he never lived or worked here although he came every five months to keep his status. I decided to apply for the green card and after three years the Government gave it. At that moment my life changed.


The first time when I came, I was in Los Angeles, California. It was an amazing vacation; I was in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and Disneyland. After five months I wanted to come back to USA, but in my work I had many problems to get permission. My husband loved New York, he always wish to live here, but I was not sure. His mother said to us “You can live in my house and I will support you while you grow in his country. I know how your life in Colombia is”. My husband came and stayed only one month and convinced me to come. I thought “It is a great opportunity that not all people have”. I made all necessary arrangements to quit my job and transport my things and traveled on April 5th last year.


I know life here is not easy, and people hope that you do the hard work; the work that Americans don’t like to do. But I think different.  I believe if you study and learn English you are going to achieve a good life style. I attended many interviews and the interviewer told me “You need to improve your English”. For that reason I stopped looking for a job and I study English all time (I Studied in Hudson Community College, Riverside Program Language, Hunter Community College, Columbia University, and Main Library in Jersey City and now in the English-Speaking Union). At this moment I am studying a Cloud Master Certification in the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. The Department of Labor upskill program pays my study. I hope when I finish studying I will get a good job in my career and create my own company. It is a long way, but with effort and dedication I can achieve it. I think it is an advantage to have studied Computer Science.

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