Alma's Extraordinary Story

Navigating Sickness and Achieving a Career

Alma’s family immigrated to the United States when she was a child. She grew up on a migrant farm, where her parents worked in the fields. Alma and her parents did not speak English, making it hard to communicate and integrate into their new country.

Alma dreams of completing a degree in child development, becoming a math teacher, and eventually earning a master’s degree.

Battling Illness

“As a child I had many dreams and aspired to reach every single one of them. However, life has many ways of reminding us that some dreams are harder to reach—and not just because my family faced harsh socio-economic struggles—but also because as a teenager, at the peak of my adolescence, I became quite ill.”

Alma contracted an aggressive kidney disease that plagued her for several years, and was bullied in high school for the visible side effects of the treatment. Despite her health challenges, Alma was still responsible for sustaining a family of six, by cooking and cleaning after school while her parents worked.

Determination and Strength

After graduating high school, Alma became pregnant with her daughter and was told that having the child had high risks because of Alma’s illness. The doctors warned the pregnancy could result in the death of her child or herself. Alma was determined to have her daughter, and fought to get stronger. This devotion to the well-being of her daughter continues to this day. 

Alma is pursuing her education goals in order to create a better life for her daughter. “Overcoming all the obstacles life has set before me have reminded me of my dreams and how hard they can be to achieve.” Alma acknowledges the work and dedication needed to fulfill her dream, and her perseverance has her on the right path.

Overcoming Obstacles

Alma is already close to completing an associates of arts degree in child development. Along with work and school, she maintains a supportive and loving relationship with her daughter, and shows her goals can be accomplished despite obstacle. 

Receiving these awards is a small testament to my ongoing fight in achieving a career so I can create a better life for my daughter.


Soroptimist relies on the generosity of individuals like you to improve the lives of women like Alma. Your support gives women the help they need to overcome obstacles—like poverty, domestic and sexual violence, and addiction—and follow their education dreams.

Please consider donating. Your gift of $100, $50, or even $10 today will go a long way and will transform the lives of women in need!

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