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Yensi Vente Espana

I am from Cali, Colombia and came to the United States when I was 14. I had a hard time in school because I did not understand English. While in high school I met Dr. D. and I felt better because she was very nice. I worked with her through the rest of high school. She showed me how much she cares about me and provided with guidance when I felt lost. She reassured me that I was capable of graduating from high school and going to college. 


I am a first-generation college student, and my parents do not speak English. Dr. D. helped me during the process of applying and getting ready for college. I first attended community college to improve my English and earn an associate's degree. Dr. D. provided me with advice and worked with me to figure out what classes to take.


My first semester was very challenging because I was not used to being responsible for my assignments or very organized. I did not realize the large amount of schoolwork I had to do outside of class; homework, readings, studying, quizzes, exams, and writing assignments. I found it very difficult in the beginning, but I got better through the years with the help of Dr. D. 


I am proud to say that I finished my associate's degree with honors and am currently in a four year university. My parents are very proud of me too! I have been working with Dr. D. for more than five years. She is my mentor and my go-to person when I need advice. She is always there for me.


I cannot express how grateful I am to have her in my life!

Dr. DiBenedetto

I am also a first generation-college graduate. I understand the challenges immigrants face and the confusion one may experience navigating the American educational system. We are all unique and special and have gifts within us that will blossom with the right strategies. Do not hesitate to contact me! Having a disability or being new to the U.S. should not be a barrier to your success. We will work together to help you reach your goals and dreams! 

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