It’s called the American Dream and this 33-year old Mexican-American woman is not only living it, but telling us how she got there.
Julissa Arce went from making $340,000 a year banking job to writing a book and becoming a public speaker about her “rags-to-riches rise” to owning a foundation that helps children of immigrants.
Her book, “My (Underground) American Dream,’’ comes out today and in her story, Julissa tells us that when she 3-years old, her parents fled Mexico to San Antonio, Texas and eight years late when Julissa was 11-years old, she joined her parents in Texas.
Her story tells us that at first her parents would sale Mexican silver at US trade shows and then they would “peddle” funnel cakes and snow cones at festivals to support the family.
And since education was the most important thing in the family, her parents insisted on only sending her to private schools.
“I saw how they were struggling to pay, and I begged them to send me to public high school,” she said.
Julissa, like other children, didn’t have a social security card and that meant no college… “I was qualified to apply for scholarships because of my grades- I was in the top 5 percent of my high school class- but I couldn’t even apply without a Social Security number.”
She got her break when Texas passed the law that allowed illegal immigrants to attend college. Julissa wasted no time, she contacted sought help- “I got in touch with the senator who sponsored the bill, and he asked the University of Texas to reconsider their rejection of my application. Two weeks before school started, I received my acceptance letter,” she said.
And her story goes on, from there she worked for free in Chicago as an intern for a soccer team and she dressed as the team’s mascot for special events for extra pay.
Julissa made her way to New York and applied at Goldmans Sachs where she was an intern and worked six years there and eventually was earning $340,000 a year.
In 2009, Julissa Arce received her green card and by 2014, she was a legalized citizen.
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