I lost my mother at the age of fourteen and was left to take care of my sister while our father worked. I became the first in my family to obtain a college education, earning a degree in physical education. When we came to the U.S. from Cuba, I worked long night shifts at a liquor store to save money, thinking of ways to combine my degree with my Spanish-speaking skills. In my community I saw a need: I opened D&D Rehab Center to provide occupational, speech and physical therapy to Spanish-speaking children with special needs.
Soon after opening the doors, I was receiving more requests than I could accommodate. Accion provided me with a $10,000 business expansion loan to hire more specialists and offer care to more children.
Today we employ twenty-one people. The reaction on parents’ faces when they see their children’s advancement is what drives me forward.