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Your support in action: Jorge’s Story

November 14, 2018

To our allies:

As I write this letter, thousands of people from Honduras are walking toward the United States border in search of better lives. Among them are hundreds of parents who have left their country with their children in tow, all in the hopes of keeping their families safe from violent gangs, escaping crushing poverty, and finding work that allows them to feed their children.

Stories like this cause me to reflect on the powerful bonds that connect us – especially as we enter the holiday season. Like me, I’m sure you can relate to what motivates people to make great sacrifices while seeking to build a better future for the ones they love most.

In the face of such suffering, you may also feel a great desire to help, but don’t know how to do so or feel powerless to help in a meaningful and significant way.

Canal Alliance provides an opportunity for you to make a gift that will have a positive and lasting impact. With the constant attacks on the immigrant community, your help is needed more urgently than ever.

One story that exemplifies the impact your generosity can have is that of Maria and her son, Jorge.

In 1999, Maria and her husband Raúl migrated from Mexico to the United States. Shortly after they arrived, their son Jorge was born. The family began the work of creating a new life in pursuit of their dreams for safety, opportunity and stability. In 2013, Raúl passed away tragically and suddenly, leaving Maria not only as the sole provider, but now also a single mother to a teenage son. While managing her grief, she also now held the full weight of her family’s dreams on her own shoulders.

Devastated and struggling to find a way to cope, Maria turned to Canal Alliance, where she had taken English classes a few years prior. She worked with a case manager who provided counseling services, assistance with filing her taxes, and job readiness assistance. Staff from Immigration Legal Services helped her obtain a legal status that grants work authorization and permanent residency. With such support from Canal Alliance, Maria began the work of putting her life back together.

While she worked to overcome the many challenges she faced, Maria never lost sight of the dreams that had brought her to the United States. For Maria, achieving those dreams meant giving Jorge every opportunity to succeed academically, because she knew that education was the key to a brighter, more stable future for her son.

Though Maria was – and remains – her son’s greatest champion, the education system in the U.S. was literally foreign to her. She didn’t know how to ensure Jorge had the best opportunities possible.

Because of generous individuals like you, Canal Alliance was able to be the partner Maria needed as she explored the options for Jorge’s future.

After all, Maria had already made many sacrifices to provide her son with a better life; Maria deserved an ally that could also be her champion.

The generosity of donors like you allowed Canal Alliance to offer the perfect program for Jorge: University Prep, an intensive afterschool college preparation program that supports Latino students to earn a four-year college degree – the best route to pursuing a future that would lift him out of poverty.

Jorge thrived in the University Prep program. Though it challenged him academically, discussions about the opportunities made possible by attending college made him excited for the future and motivated to focus on his studies. One of Jorge’s favorite experiences with University Prep was a visit to the State Capitol in Sacramento to meet with elected officials and advocate for the needs of immigrants. This visit only strengthened his determination to obtain the college education he needed to “change the world.”

Today, due to his hard work and the generosity of individuals like you, Jorge is a freshman at a California State University, majoring in political science. He says that, in politics, there “are not a lot of people that look like me. I want to break that barrier.”

It is your generosity that enables ambitious young people like Jorge to achieve their potential and build a more inclusive, hopeful future for our country. At the same time, your investment provides Canal Alliance with the resources needed to support mothers like Maria, who work every day to ensure brighter futures for their children, yet also need assistance and support themselves.

Canal Alliance is the only comprehensive provider of services for Latino immigrants in Marin County, and offers crucial education, legal and social services that help motivated immigrants break the cycle of poverty.

With your support, Canal Alliance can continue to help immigrants improve their lives and realize their dreams – for dignity, safety, opportunity, education, financial stability and citizenship.

In the spirit of the holidays, and as you gather to celebrate with your family and loved ones, please consider how a donation to Canal Alliance can help Maria, Jorge and other hard-working immigrant families to pursue their dreams in the next year and beyond.

You have the power to change lives. Please send your most generous gift today.

Gracias y felices fiestas,

Omar Carrera

Executive Director

P.S. You can easily make your gift online today at: donate.canalalliance.org/EOY2018

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