Welcome to my blog for the summer of 2016 with the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association. Enjoy this ride as I tell you about my adventures and the journey in Washington D.C. I will be posting on my blog weekly, every Monday.
My name is Adilenne Villanueva, daughter of Agustin and Martha Villanueva. I am twenty years old and excited to conquer the world and be successful at a young age. Born in Toppenish, Washington on the Yakima Nation Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. I grew up in White Swan, Washington which is about thirty minutes away from Toppenish, but it is still on the reservation along with my family. Graduated in 2014 from White Swan High School being ranked top ten of the class was something amazing, and very emotional.
My parents both migrated from Jalisco, Mexico to the United States in the mid 90’s. From a very young age I remember my parents getting up and preparing for a long day of work either under the hot scorching sun or in the freezing weather. My family has been living in the United States for twenty years. When they first immigrated to the U.S they lived in Los Angeles, California, but returned shortly to Mexico after. In 1995 they made the decision to permanently move to Washington State. My mother at the time was seventeen years old, and I was a couple of months old. She did not know anyone at the time. My mother found out about Washington State Migrant Council in 1996, which today is the Inspire Developmental Centers, and immediately enrolled me. I qualified for the program because it was a requirement for parents to be migrant and seasonal farmworkers.
Agriculture continues to be the industry that keeps my family financially afloat. In the past my father worked in the apple industry, while my mother worked in the vineyards. Now, twenty years later my father works as an irrigation worker, and my mother still works in the vineyards. We are a family of five, both parents, myself, my brother Alexander who is thirteen, and sister Alicia who is six. We are such a loving and supportive family who have learned the definition of hard work, and determination to succeed in this country.
Being the only daughter for eight years meant spending a lot of time with other family members, school, and after school programs while my parents worked. At the time I always had a ot of anger because I would not see my parents as much as I wanted to. I needed to spend time with them. It wasn’t until I got older that I started understanding why they worked so much. My parents sacrificed themselves by working long days, while they sent me to school to receive an education. The education that they themselves did not receive.
As a child my parents and I benefited from Inspire, because of this program I was able to receive an early childhood education. I am very thankful to have been in this program, I had a foundation that allowed me to learn. Today I can gladly say that I am currently a Junior at Washington State University majoring in Human Development and Spanish. My parents came with nothing to the United States. The first years of life are the most important, my parents made sure that I started my education career early. It is my time to make them proud, so far I know I have accomplished that. I owe it all to my parents, and Inspire for the young successful lady that I have become.
I share this information because this is my background about who I am. In the next blog I’m going to share this frightening and emotional journey of how I came to D.C and what I have been learning so far.