A Stepping Stone Foundation Blog

True Stories: Martha Part 1

“That’s Me. That’s My Story”


Every-other year or so, A Stepping Stone Foundation teachers show a video. It’s a story about journeying to the United States as an immigrant and seeking a better life.  At the end of the video this spring, Lead Teacher Fran Smith asked the parents if any of them had anything to say  about it.  After a short time of silence, one mom, Martha, who is typically VERY quiet said, “That’s me. That is my story.”


Those two short little sentences gave title to one long, trying history of over-coming amazing odds to become the caring parent enrolled in A Stepping Stone’s child-centered family literacy program.  When Teacher Fran had told me about Martha’s two little sentences at the parent class after the video, I knew I wanted to hear her story and so I was very pleased that she agreed to tell it to me. I swore to keep it anonymous, so Martha is not her real name.


Weeks later, I sat across from Martha, a mother with a four-year-old girl in A Stepping Stone Foundation’s preschool class.  We were at a small table in our younger sibling childcare room.  In fact, we sat on very little chairs! As I squirmed to get comfortable, I noticed Martha’s two-year old son, David, played quietly behind her–He’s better behaved than I am, I thought to myself as we began our conversation.


Martha began speaking in her soft tones an in very GOOD English, which she would continue speaking for the rest of the interview-even when I asked her something in Spanish.  She was born in Veracruz, Mexico and lived with her mother and younger sister for the first eight years of her life. Her father left the family to work in the United States. In his absence, Martha’s mother neglected and mistreated the girls. Things were so bad that one day Martha took her little sister by the hand and ran away.  Martha’s grandmother called her father to tell him he had to come get them so they could have a better life and he did.


Please check back daily over the rest of this week for more of Martha’s True Story.