By Abigail Delgado
When Andres Solvero’s parents came to the United States of America with their children, they had one goal in mind, to guarantee a brighter future for their family. Andres was only thirteen but even at that time, he had a very clear conviction that failure was not an option, and that his success in this country was not only going to be the realization of his parents’ dreams but also the beginning of his own American dream.
David and Marta were in their early fifties when they decided to leave Peru, and everything they had known and loved for all those years, to move to the States. His mom was an architect and his dad a motor technician. Their children had all they needed; however, they knew that in Peru, regardless of their efforts, they could not guarantee that their children would be able to do the same for themselves in the future. “Apparently during that time there were not many opportunities even for recent college graduates to find a job, so they brought us here,” said Solvero.
Being a teenager in a new country was not a challenge for Solvero, who tried to adapt quickly to the culture. “I tried to assimilate and transition as best I could. I was the only Hispanic in my school, besides my Spanish teacher, but I tried to learn and speak English well,” remembered Solvero.
To Solvero, the difficulties that his parents faced when they came to this country, unable to speak English and practice their professions, were worth it. Solvero started working when he was 16 years old, to save money for his education. In 2011, Solvero graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature and last November, he graduated from Northeastern University with a Master’s Degree in Education. “My parents are extremely happy that their sacrifice was not in vain. I had positive role models and they are happy with how we turned out,” Solvero explained.
Solvero, who is a student adviser at Naugatuck Community College, wants to inspire those who believe that obtaining a degree in this country could be something hard to achieve. He emphasizes that it is possible, even if you are an immigrant.
“Establish a long-term goal for yourself. And monetarily speaking, my advice is to spend the least money that you can for your associate’s degree, because in the spectrum of education, an associate’s degree can be not as heavy as a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree,” he counseled, adding, “Go to your local community college, and when the time comes that you need to pay for your specialization, you will have the money to do that.”
Education is a priority for Solvero, and now that he has achieved his goals, he focuses on his career in providing counseling and advice to those who want to embark on the same journey.
“I would like to give people something that I did not have when I came to this country, and help facilitate the whole process towards a higher education experience,” explained Solvero with passion.
For Solvero, his parents achieved their American dream the day they saw him and his sister Katherina obtaining a degree. “In a nation built by immigrants, sacrifice has always been a common ingredient in any success story. My parents put their life on hold and they have been trying to re-invent themselves for fifteen years. They focused on us first and now that they have done their part, I would like to do my part to make it possible for them to be able to rest.”