Elizabeth Romero has been a parent organizer with ICUC for the past ten years. As a mother who migrated to the United States from Mexico, she personally understands the importance of giving guidance to struggling parents as they navigate having to balance language barriers, job-related time constraints, and cultural differences in their children’s education. Because she has experienced this firsthand, she is highly invested in providing resources for other parents and caretakers who find themselves in similar positions.
Despite the barriers she has faced, Elizabeth has continuously gone out of her way to receive necessary information about how to support her children through their school journey. As a mother of four, she has taken it upon herself to help her children succeed in a country where they are faced with challenges that are unique to first generation students and which may make them run the risk of falling behind compared to their peers who have parents with a better understanding of how to navigate the American school system.
As a part of ICUC, Elizabeth has been able to connect with struggling parents throughout various of the local schools. This has made it apparent that a strong sense of community is a central necessity to surviving life as working class migrants in the United States. Many of the parents she works with don’t always have extended family to rely on because traveling to the United States meant they had to make the sacrifice of abandoning their support systems back home. This is why organizing spaces like ICUC are crucial in the community.
Elizabeth has had many firsthand experiences of the powerful positive impact ICUC has. One of these instances was when she was hospitalized and many of the community members she’s met through the organization paid her a visit. Another moment was when one of the parent leaders died in a car accident and several of the other ICUC parents held a food sale and gathered together in community to help alleviate some of the family’s grief and suffering. It is moments like these that make the work worthwhile for Elizabeth and the reason why she continues to be involved. It is the way that community members become support systems for each other that shows the endurance and perseverance of working class and immigrant parents.