Success Story: Claudia Espinosa
At 20, I left Colombia to start a new life. Although not my original plan, I moved to NY in 2000 to start a life on my own. I left behind my entire family. Sadly, I couldn’t travel due to legal processes and it took 7 years to visit Colombia. I couldn’t see my mom and sister for 5 years. This is part of the price that I’ve paid to achieve my dreams, but I am grateful for my experiences.
Once in New York, I became a personal trainer to support myself as a college student. In 15 years, I have managed to master English, get 2 masters degrees from CUNY and NYU, live in Paris and learn French, and develop a nonprofit organization for young Latinas in New York.
The Latinas On the Verge of Excellence – L.O.V.E. Mentoring Program has been my biggest accomplishment. My interest in nonprofits and women’s rights led me to work for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, UN Women and Comunilife. In my position at Comunilife’s suicide prevention program, Life is Precious, I learned about the alarming rates destroying Latinas’ lives, including school dropouts, teen pregnancy, and suicide attempts. I counseled young Latinas who want to end their lives. This caused me to create an organization that supports and empowers young Latinas through positive role modeling.
As a Latina, I feel responsible for the success of these young girls. I want to use my own life as an example that we must live a life that is filled with passion and that nothing in this world is too big to achieve.