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Why did you leave Puerto Rico?.

Hi my name is Denisdaly Marrero.

I am 26 years old. I have lived in Jamestown, NY for 3 1/2 years. Many people have asked me "Why did you leave Puerto Rico? Why did you decide to move to Jamestown?”

Well, my answer is always the same. I left Puerto Rico because I needed a new direction in my life, not just a change in lifestyle but also a better future for my daughter and myself.

Don't get me wrong, Puerto Rico is gorgeous, but ...... the crime rate is incredibly high and jobs are nowhere to be found. As to the question of why Jamestown? Well, that one is a little trickier. My sister-in-law moved here first. She loved it and told me so. Two months later here I was.

In Puerto Rico, I had my own home and car. I had a part-time job, and best of all, my family was near. But I decided to risk it all to start a new life. I left Macun (Click here for more information about Macun), Puerto Rico in November of 2012 and by December I had all the helps to resettle that Jamestown could have offered me. In February 2013 I moved to my first apartment, and by March I had my first job. I was a cashier at Home Depot.

In the summer of 2013 I met Max Martin at work (Max was the director of the Eastside Y). He spoke to me in Spanish and gave me a flyer from Jamestown Business College about its bilingual medical office assistance program. Max said to call if I wanted more information about the program. (Don't tell Max but I didn't call.) I saw Max again at Home Depot, and he gave me a second flyer. (This time I did call.) We scheduled a date to meet at JBC. In September I started work toward a Certificate of Medical Office Assistant. Now I had a part time job (less than 40 hours but more than 22 hours a week) and I went to college full time. In April 2014 I decided I had to make a choice: be a cashier for the rest of my life or better myself. Can you guess what I decided?

I quit my job at Home Depot and decided to concentrate on my college degree. When I was nearly finished with my Certificate, I was informed of an opportunity to upgrade to an associate’s degree in the same field. I grabbed it.

I graduated Jamestown Business College in June 2015. After graduation, I was recruited to work as a customer care representative. I am still working in furthering my future. I work full Time and continue going to college full time to make that possible.

If you are asking yourself about the helps the government gave me, well, they are gone. But I have never felt so accomplished and great about my struggles and hard work. The best help I got is the one my family and friends gave me. I could not have done this alone. I am still writing my life, and I do not expect to finish anytime soon. How about you?

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