The New Faces of Westchester: Flordeamerica Contreras

From the Dominican Republic to the US in hopes of becoming a nurse.

Flordeamerica Contreras, Dominican Republic

At 16, Flordeamerica Contreras left the Dominican Republic with her mother to join family in Westchester. Her first impressions of Westchester? “There were newer technologies, newer cars, and large roads, and there were a lot of Spanish-speaking people in my town.” Speaking no English herself, she struggled during high school, but today, 10 years later, she is doing just fine. “I know that in order to be successful I have to finish college,” she says. “What inspires me the most to finish school is my 3-year-old son.”

My Story: “My mother and I came to America in hopes of a better life. Job opportunities in DR are scarce and far between. The United States presented my family with the opportunity to make money. Westchester has great job opportunities and a good school system. My child has more opportunities for growth [than I did]. I have big aspirations for my life, primarily finishing school. I am currently attending Rockland Community College for a degree in Nursing. I have been working at an ambulatory surgery center for about five years…. If I want something, I fight for it and give it all I have. I have succeeded until this point because I am focused and, most importantly, driven.”

My preconceived notions about Westchester: “People were a lot nicer than I thought; people were very polite. They told me that there was power all the time, but [blackouts happen here, too].” 

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