September 15th to October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month. It was initially created in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week, in order to pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced our society. In 1988, President Reagan expanded it to a full thirty days. This thirty-day period includes the anniversaries of independence for many Latin American countries. Read more at: http://hispanicheritagemonth.gov/
In honor of this year's National Hispanic Heritage Month, we are featuring the story of our lovely and talented paralegal, Teri!
Teri was born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico in the 1970s. She resided there until she was fourteen years old. Teri remembers that she had a good childhood. Her family was always celebrating traditional Mexican holidays, like Cinco de Mayo, with parades.
When she was thirteen years old, Teri was voted to be a Princess in the September parade celebrating Mexico's independence from Spain. It was very cold that year. She wore a traditional white dress and hairstyle with two braids, and rode on a float with colorful flowers and waived to the crowd.
Teri also frequently participated in traditional Mexican folk dance, called Folklorico, at her school. Folklorico emphasizes local folk culture and involves movement characteristic of ballet, including pointed toes and exaggerated gestures.
Teri's father gained his permanent residency in the United States through the amnesty program in 1986. In 1990, he petitioned for her, her mother, and her brother and sister to come to the Unites States as well. About 1 1/2 years later, the entire family immigrated to the U.S.
Once in the United States, Teri worked hard and overcame the challenges of learning a new language and fitting into a new culture to get where she is today. She attended Abraham Lincoln High School and graduated in 1996. She then attended City College for 1 1/2 years, but left before obtaining her degree in order to raise her first child. In an attempt to balance work and motherhood, Teri then became certified as a daycare provider and took a job at a daycare center where she could spend the day with her son.
Later she married and had a second child. In her spare time she was able to attend classes at Mission College in order to learn English, something that was very important to her.
In 2004 Teri went back to school, to the Institute of Business and Technology in Santa Clara, to become a Billing and Coding Specialist in the medical field. She parlayed her degree into a job at Kaiser as an Analyst in the Quality Department & a Senior Staff Assistant.
After the birth of her third child, Kaiser went through financial setbacks and Teri was laid off. As the mother of three, she needed to find a new career, and fast! In 2008 she bravely went back to school at Heald College to get her paralegal degree, and since that time she has been working as a paralegal in the field of immigration law.
Teri has contributed countless hours, even with her busy schedule, to volunteer work in her community. She has assisted U visa applicants at the non-profit organization Apoyo Legal Migrante in Mountain View, California. For the past three years, she has served as the volunteer coordinator for Fiesta Educativa, which holds an annual conference for parents of children with disabilities. Teri also regularly volunteers at her children's schools.
We feel incredibly lucky to have found Teri. She is a significant asset to Hurtubise Weber Law, and we are proud to have her!