Lupe Maldonado will tell you, “education is key.” That’s because it’s what helped her and her family create a brighter future. Their story started in a garage in Torrance, Calif., more than 20 years ago. That’s where they lived when they came to the U.S. No bathroom. No running water; a mattress on the bare floor. They covered up the holes to keep out the cold and the mice. While it may have been a bleak start, Lupe says just being in America was a dream come true.
While Ismael worked 12 hour days to support his family, Lupe joined a new program at her son’s elementary school called the Toyota Family Literacy Program in order to learn English. It was a tough decision, going to school instead of getting a job that could provide the money needed to move out of that garage; but Ismael and Lupe knew if she could learn English, she could advocate for their boys with teachers, doctors and in the community. Ismael also enrolled in English classes.
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