Elizabeth Levinger – Atlanta
My mom, who is 73 now, was 40 years old when we came to the United States from the former Soviet Union. A single mother, she spearheaded the immigration process for herself, me and my grandfather of blessed memory. We came here with $90 per person that our former country allowed us to exchange (we left the rest of our possessions there) and she immediately got to work. Though an engineer with a tremendous university teaching career, she took any and every job (cleaning, supermarket deli counter – anything) to not only put food on the table, but most importantly to allow me to go to college, as it was her highest priority. In time, we managed to make ends meet better and better, and, although every day was a struggle, she learned English and passed her engineering exam. To this day, she is an engineer in a local company, and the firm values her greatly. She insisted that I continue my education and because of her, I now hold a master’s degree in statistics as well as an MBA. Her example gave me strength and courage to excel on my own, to have an extremely exciting career, and to eventually open my own business. Her wisdom, her kindness, and her love continue to fuel me every day. I don’t think I can ever repay her, no matter what I do, for the sacrifices she made for our family, but I strive to be a little bit like her each and every day. She is a cancer survivor, she is the strongest woman I know, and she is a role model for me and my children.
by Elina Brager