From a Refugee Raft to a Job in Congress…

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Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Finding it hard to get a job? Consider Jessie’s story – During some of Cuba’s darkest days 17 years ago, Jessie Calzado-Esponda was tragically separated from her parents and put on a refugee raft with her Aunt and Grandmother when she was only seven. After losing all of their food and water in the storm, Jessie along with 16 other people and a dog drifted on their raft for five days before they were rescued just in time by the US Coastguard.

Despite facing incredible challenges trying to survive as an immigrant in Tampa Bay, Florida, Jessie was inspired by Florida Representative Cathy Carter and a dream of a career in Washington DC was planted in her mind. After finding a mentor Jessie moved to Florida in 2009 and was given an Internship in Cathy Carter’s office. Things were beginning to look up for Jessie but unfortunately fate threw further challenges in Jessie’s way and when her accommodation fell through, she was forced to stay in a homeless shelter.

Despite finding the homeless shelter too frightening, resorting to sofa surfing and eating leftover food, Jessie continued to shine as an intern and was offered a permanent position with Congressman Bobby Rush later that year. As soon as Jessie got her first pay check, she rented an apartment and moved her Grandmother to live with her in Washington DC.

Jessie’s story proves that there are many opportunities right around the corner and that you just need to go and find them. “You do have to ask, and you do have to knock on doors but as long as you don’t give up hope, you can do anything!”

If Jessie can do it, so can you…

From a Refugee Raft to a Job in Congress..., 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings Perseverance, Connections, Hope, Hard Work, CouragehelloArraytags

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