Client stories: Brenda Maldonado

Published by Program Manager on

Client stories: Brenda Maldonado

A relatively new student to the BIIN community, Brenda has worked to take advantage of the resources BIIN provides. In January 2021, she began attending BIIN’s online citizenship classes. Brenda moved from Mexico to Texas in 2016 and is now looking towards getting U.S. citizenship. Legal permanent residents must live in the U.S. for five years before applying for citizenship, and Brenda is excited to begin that process now that she has reached that benchmark. Although she is just starting the arduous application process, Brenda was enthusiastic to begin the BIIN citizenship classes early this year so that she would be confident going into the exam. With the help she is receiving from the classes, she already feels better prepared for the exam.

Currently living in Fort Worth, Brenda came to the U.S. with her young son to be with her mother and three sisters, who also live in Texas. Her life in Mexico was difficult, as the poor infrastructure, limited educational opportunities, and corruption within the government all contributed to her family’s hardships. However, in the U.S. she saw a life full of possibilities and opportunities not just for herself, but just as importantly, for her now eight-year-old son.

Brenda works at a school district in Fort Worth and has built up a chosen family with them. Her coworkers and the students she interacts with all motivate her to want to learn English, as she aims to be able to connect with them and chat confidentially. Therefore, in June 2021 Brenda also began attending the online Conversational English classes that BIIN offers. To Brenda, learning English is a must, as there are so many wonderful and interesting people that she could be interacting with and learning from. Having a stronger grasp of English would also allow Brenda to further her formal education and pursue better career opportunities. The conversation-focused classes have allowed Brenda to learn from the teachers and volunteers at BIIN, and provide a safe space for her to practice her English with other adult learners. Brenda sees learning English as the next step to achieving her dreams, and through BIIN has found the resources to make that happen.

In Mexico, Brenda had been studying accounting, and while those studies had to be put on hold as she moved to the U.S., she is still committed to learning and bettering herself each day. Her son learns English through his school and is being raised bilingual. Brenda believes that knowing both English and Spanish can be extremely beneficial for connecting yourself to the community around you and wants to be sure she sets a good example for her son.

Brenda values the life she has built in Texas and wants to use her voice to help other immigrants like herself. Her goal of getting U.S. citizenship would impact her in many ways, as she would be able to find better-paying work, make enough money to buy a house for her family, and give back to the community around her. With her family depending on her, Brenda works hard to make the most of the opportunities she has discovered in the U.S..

Brenda values the life she has built in Texas and wants to use her voice to help other immigrants like herself. Her goal of getting U.S. citizenship would impact her in many ways, as she would be able to find better-paying work, make enough money to buy a house for her family, and give back to the community around her. With her family depending on her, Brenda works hard to make the most of the opportunities she has discovered in the U.S..

Time is incredibly valuable, and Brenda is thankful to BIIN volunteers and program leaders for giving their time to help her and other immigrants work towards their goals. Both the citizenship and Conversational English classes have been rewarding for Brenda and she hopes to continue with both while she works towards realizing her dreams.

Thanks to Carolina Kane, BIIN intern in summer 2021, for writing this profile.