Maria Lina Velazquez Curiel, who goes by Lina, is a first generation Mexican immigrant who moved to Asheboro, N.C. in the late 1990’s to pursue a better life for herself. Without speaking any english and having only a high school education, Lina quickly found herself disoriented and confused by the unfamiliar American culture.
After learning from other Spanish speaking residents in Asheboro about ESL (English as a Second Language) classes offered at Randolph Community College, she quickly enrolled. Determined to adapt to American culture and achieve her desire to build a life for herself, she progressed her english skills until she was able to begin Adult Education Classes in order to attain her GED. After marrying and having children, Lina took a break from school until she was able to balance being both a stay at home mother and student. Frustrated and overwhelmed at times, Lina often felt tempted to quit the difficult schooling and move back to Mexico, where she has the comfort of family and familiarity. However, her determination for a better life, one where her children could grow up with the opportunities that America offers, motivated her to stay.
Today at 40 years old, Lina continues taking classes at RCC for her GED four days a week, while also cooking, cleaning, and taking care of her children. Lina has been described by her instructors as being incredibly loving, caring, considerate, and hard working.