Our Moving Stories: Episode 5 — MichelleConversation with: Michelle.
This podcast is hosted by Bruno Villegas & Ariadne Pacheco.
Michelle immigrated to Miami — somewhat reluctantly — from Mexico City as an adolescent. Like so many other young people, migrating was NOT her agenda but her parents.’ She was a good student with lots of friends attending an international school. All of a sudden, she finds herself migrating not just to a new country but also to a new family living situation as she leaves behind her parents and moves in with her much older brother and his wife.
Michelle’s migratory journey points to significance of the context of reception as the city to which she arrives blunts some of the typical harsh cultural shocks. She has the advantage of having well-honed English skills prior to migrating as well as migrating to bilingual/bicultural Miami so extreme acculturative shock is attenuated. On the other hand, she is rapidly thrust into new roles of managing daily living tasks and working while adjusting to a new schooling system without the benefits of parental support.
In Michelle’s voyage, we again see the role of a strong sense of social responsibility. Michelle, prior to migrating, already was something of an empathic helper. After immigrating she harnesses her bilingual and bicultural skills to support other young people in transition who need a role model, understands them, and can serve as a guide.