More than a Number

By Jennifer Moreno

Family is important, but to an immigrant who left their place of origin to seek a safer and brighter life, family signifies hope. The Ochoa family is a welcoming and caring family. Patricia Ochoa is the mother of Jovanna and Natalia, two sisters who attend YE Smith Elementary. Both sisters are intelligent and joyful. Without their realization, they defy stereotypes of Latinas everyday by excelling in school. Jovanna and Natalia successfully navigate between their two cultures, Mexican and American. Children of immigrants are used to being asked where they are from, but the question that is on their mind and the one that should be posed by others is where do you want to go.

Immigration is received with an extremely negative view in the US. However, immigration is how the United States came to exist. Due to the dehumanization and politicization of immigration, I decided to humanize this controversial topic by highlighting the wonderful Ochoa family. Immigrants are beyond a status, they are the agents that allow the US to continue thriving.

I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to meet the members of the Ochoa family. Documenting Jovanna and Natalia was a delight and conversing with Patricia was always insightful. I am honored to have the chance to show a small window into Jovanna and Natalia's life.