meet an alumni sandra

“Sometimes you need help and you have to open up to people and realize that you’re not alone. Everything you have done in life has value; it doesn’t matter if it was done in another country. You cannot forget who you are no matter where you are coming from.”

Sandra was one of our very first alumni in New York. She came to the U.S. in 2001 with her husband and daughter seeking protection due to the violence in her country. An accomplished attorney, Sandra did not speak English when she first arrived, and had to start over from scratch, learning her ABCs at age 30.

Initially, she worked odd jobs, babysitting 14 to 16 hours a day, seven days a week. People kept telling her to forget her goals of getting back to the legal profession, but Sandra knew she had to persist. She joined Upwardly Global shortly after we opened our New York office, and through the program met an immigration lawyer who passed her resume on to the firm where she was eventually hired. She has been at the firm for ten years now, and is proud that she and her family have dual citizenship in the U.S. and Colombia.

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