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Every Step is a Milestone


by Alma Almanza

Roberto Barrera is 22-year old immigrant from Mexico and the only child of a farm worker single mother. Roberto was living in Mexico at age six when he fell down two floors from the roof of his home and hit his head. At age 15 he was diagnosed with epilepsy that, according to his doctor, resulted from the fall he had 9 years before. Roberto experiences severe seizures due to his epilepsy and it has affected him in other ways too.

Roberto’s mother, Maria, was very concerned about his disability. He often had seizures unexpectedly. Maria had to work to support Roberto and she had to leave him with friends while working. Often times, Mrs. Barrera would miss work because she did not have anybody to watch Roberto. The situation was hard, both for Roberto and his mother. Fortunately, they were able to control his seizures to some extent with the help of medication. Roberto decided to attend school to obtain his General Education Diploma. It was a challenge for Roberto. At first he was very dependent on his mother, but he needed a change.

In December of last year, Roberto decided to seek employment. His mother did not earn sufficient money to buy everything he needed. Roberto now lives in Greenfield, CA. Greenfield is a very small rural town that lacks a lot of services and job opportunities. Finding a job was definitely a challenge.

Roberto began his search for employment and shortly thereafter he obtained a job at a restaurant as a dishwasher/busboy. Roberto’s will and perseverance helped him accomplish his goal. Roberto is still in the process of obtaining his General Education Diploma and is determined to accomplish this goal.