Our Stories: Brenda, Scholar (2016)

Brenda, an immigrant from El Salvador, lost both her parents by age 10 and immigrated to the United States on her own at age 15 because her older sister would not allow her to continue her education past seventh grade. After working two jobs for three years, she enrolled in an alternative high school and graduated as valedictorian while continuing to work 30 hours a week as a cashier. She plans to study accounting at Northern Virginia Community College.