My name is Maritza Merino. I am 29 years old. I was born and raised in the Bronx, to parents who emigrated from Mexico. When my parents arrived at the United States, it was very hard for them to communicate with others due to a language barrier. I remember that my siblings and I always had to translate for my mother during doctor visits, parent teacher conference, and during other special occasions. I’ve learned to ask questions my whole life. Whether it was questions my mother had, my father, any other family member, or me. Asking questions is good because it helps you uncover any challenges, discover something new, and understand people better.
I come from a family who has always been very supportive, nurturing, and respectful. This has helped me grow into an individual who is mindful of other people’s opinions and accepting of it. Despite having a family who has always been supportive, I still struggle with expressing my feelings and ideas. I consider myself to be a very shy person when I am around new people. It can be hard for me to socialize at times because I tend to get very nervous which causes me to forget what I was going to say. On the other hand, I am a person who loves to help. Throughout my journey in life, I have met many people who have helped me get through difficult times. Helping others to the best of knowledge is a way to give back to the community and let others know that there is always someone out there willing to help.
I am a mother of two handsome boys. Becoming a mother at a young age was a big challenge because I had to make a lot of sacrifices in life and give up on many of my dreams. It took me a while to realize that becoming a mother at a young age was not the end of the world. Here I am now pursuing my master’s degree and soon to graduate. We must be persistent to accomplish big things in life and teach yourself and others that it is never too late to reach for your goals.