Domenica Merino & Claudia Olalla-Merino


domenica merino & claudia olalla-merino

“Mis mejores deseos para ti ahi”

Claudia comparte con su hija Domenica el hecho de que ella siempre ha querido lo mejor para ella y habla de porque y de que manera se lo ha proporcionado.

Claudia shares with her daughter Domenica that she always wanted what was best for her daughter and how and why she provided that for her.

Read the Transcript in Spanish

“Mis mejores deseos para ti ahi”

Domenica: Hija/ Daughter
Claudia: Madre/Mother

Claudia: Yo no quería que mis hijos se sientan menos, y aprendí que en Quito, tu nivel social hacia mucha diferencia porque cuando yo me iba a pedir trabajo, en los mismos bancos, las personas de recursos humanos me decían que si yo no era graduada de un colegio de ahí de Quito, esencialmente Católico porque las escuelas privadas lo más son, las más famosas en ese tiempo eran  las escuelas Católicas, entonces que no. Ni siquiera iban a recibir mi carpeta. Ni siquiera iban a ver mi resume. Y entonces para mí fue terrible porque ni siquiera iban a ver quién era yo solamente porque no era graduada de tal o cual parte. Tonces no. A mí es como cuando que me dicen no, me hace más fuerte. Es como que, “Okay, yo te voy a demostrar que sí.” Y por eso, todo lo que he hecho por ti, Domenica, es para que tú no pases eso, para que tú no sientas eso. Por eso te conseguí el mejor colegio, la mejor escuela, fuiste a la mejor guardería en Ecuador. Siempre lo mejor, siempre lo mejor para ti allá.

Note about copyright, attribution, and citation:  StoryCorps holds the copyright to the audio recordings of interviews and to the photographs of the participants; StoryCorps has licensed limited use of those to the Bureau of Study Counsel/Harvard University.  Harvard University owns the copyright to all other material on the First-Gen Voices website (bsc.harvard.edu/first-gen-voices).  Quotations of the transcripts and translations of interviews from the website by parties other than StoryCorps and the Bureau of Study Counsel should be attributed/cited as follows: “This excerpt is from a website created by the Bureau of Study Counsel of Harvard University with interviews recorded by StoryCorps (www.storycorps.org), a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.”

Read the Transcript in English

"Always the best for you there"

Domenica: Daughter/ Hija
Claudia: Mother/ Madre

Claudia: I didn’t want my children to feel less than, and I had learned in Quito [the capital city] that your social class made a big difference when I would go looking for a job. At the banks, the personnel of human resources would tell me that if I hadn’t graduated from a high school in Quito, essentially a Catholic education since at the time the most famous private schools were Catholic, well then, no. They wouldn’t even receive my CV. They wouldn’t even look at my resume. And it was terrible for me because they wouldn’t even look into who I was solely because I hadn’t graduated from such and such place. So no. For me, when they tell me no, it makes me stronger. It’s like, “Okay, I’m going to show you.” And for that reason, everything I have done for you, Domenica, is so that you never have to go through that, so you never have to feel like that. For that reason I found you the best high school, the best elementary school, in Ecuador you went to the best kindergarten. Always the best, always the best for you there. 

Note about copyright, attribution, and citation:  StoryCorps holds the copyright to the audio recordings of interviews and to the photographs of the participants; StoryCorps has licensed limited use of those to the Bureau of Study Counsel/Harvard University.  Harvard University owns the copyright to all other material on the First-Gen Voices website (bsc.harvard.edu/first-gen-voices).  Quotations of the transcripts and translations of interviews from the website by parties other than StoryCorps and the Bureau of Study Counsel should be attributed/cited as follows: “This excerpt is from a website created by the Bureau of Study Counsel of Harvard University with interviews recorded by StoryCorps (www.storycorps.org), a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.”


domenica merino & claudia olalla-merino

“Tu puedes lograrlo todo"

Claudia discute con Domenica las diferencias que existen entre la Universidad en el Ecuador y los Estados Unidos.

Claudia discusses with Domenica the differences between college in Ecuador and the U.S.

Read the Transcript in Spanish

“Mis mejores deseos para ti ahi”

Domenica: Hija/ Daughter
Claudia: Madre/Mother

Claudia: Yo no quería que mis hijos se sientan menos, y aprendí que en Quito, tu nivel social hacia mucha diferencia porque cuando yo me iba a pedir trabajo, en los mismos bancos, las personas de recursos humanos me decían que si yo no era graduada de un colegio de ahí de Quito, esencialmente Católico porque las escuelas privadas lo más son, las más famosas en ese tiempo eran  las escuelas Católicas, entonces que no. Ni siquiera iban a recibir mi carpeta. Ni siquiera iban a ver mi resume. Y entonces para mí fue terrible porque ni siquiera iban a ver quién era yo solamente porque no era graduada de tal o cual parte. Tonces no. A mí es como cuando que me dicen no, me hace más fuerte. Es como que, “Okay, yo te voy a demostrar que sí.” Y por eso, todo lo que he hecho por ti, Domenica, es para que tú no pases eso, para que tú no sientas eso. Por eso te conseguí el mejor colegio, la mejor escuela, fuiste a la mejor guardería en Ecuador. Siempre lo mejor, siempre lo mejor para ti allá.

Note about copyright, attribution, and citation:  StoryCorps holds the copyright to the audio recordings of interviews and to the photographs of the participants; StoryCorps has licensed limited use of those to the Bureau of Study Counsel/Harvard University.  Harvard University owns the copyright to all other material on the First-Gen Voices website (bsc.harvard.edu/first-gen-voices).  Quotations of the transcripts and translations of interviews from the website by parties other than StoryCorps and the Bureau of Study Counsel should be attributed/cited as follows: “This excerpt is from a website created by the Bureau of Study Counsel of Harvard University with interviews recorded by StoryCorps (www.storycorps.org), a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.”

Read the Transcript in English

"Always the best for you there"

Domenica: Daughter/ Hija
Claudia: Mother/ Madre

Claudia: I didn’t want my children to feel less than, and I had learned in Quito [the capital city] that your social class made a big difference when I would go looking for a job. At the banks, the personnel of human resources would tell me that if I hadn’t graduated from a high school in Quito, essentially a Catholic education since at the time the most famous private schools were Catholic, well then, no. They wouldn’t even receive my CV. They wouldn’t even look at my resume. And it was terrible for me because they wouldn’t even look into who I was solely because I hadn’t graduated from such and such place. So no. For me, when they tell me no, it makes me stronger. It’s like, “Okay, I’m going to show you.” And for that reason, everything I have done for you, Domenica, is so that you never have to go through that, so you never have to feel like that. For that reason I found you the best high school, the best elementary school, in Ecuador you went to the best kindergarten. Always the best, always the best for you there. 

Note about copyright, attribution, and citation:  StoryCorps holds the copyright to the audio recordings of interviews and to the photographs of the participants; StoryCorps has licensed limited use of those to the Bureau of Study Counsel/Harvard University.  Harvard University owns the copyright to all other material on the First-Gen Voices website (bsc.harvard.edu/first-gen-voices).  Quotations of the transcripts and translations of interviews from the website by parties other than StoryCorps and the Bureau of Study Counsel should be attributed/cited as follows: “This excerpt is from a website created by the Bureau of Study Counsel of Harvard University with interviews recorded by StoryCorps (www.storycorps.org), a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.”


domenica merino & claudia olalla-merino

"¡Y aqui estas!"

 

Claudia habla de las adversidades que Domenica y ella han enfrentado al tener que aprender como funciona un sistema universitario distinto.

Claudia talks about the adversities she and Domenica faced in learning about a new college system.

Read the Transcript in Spanish

"¡Y aqui estas!"

Domenica: Hija/ Daughter
Claudia: Madre/Mother

Claudia: Entonces tuve que aprender todo eso, tuve que aprender que tenías que hacer, y por eso estuviste en una grand high school. Donde hubo gente, donde hubieron personas que no fueron egoístas y cuando yo preguntaba, ellos me daban una respuesta. Y siempre me a gustado conocer. Y fueron horas y horas al frente de Google buscando que era, que se necesitaba, que universidades habían para ayudarte porque tu no eres una ciudadana Americana si no una Ecuatoriana. Para los ciudadanos Americanos, igual es fácil, y hay hasta ayuda económica, pero tú solo tenías como seis universidades que ayudan a los estudiantes internacionales, porque tú eras – entonces yo tenía que saber, porque ni siquiera el college counselor de tu high school sabía. Él no sabía, ella no sabía, que no iban a poder ayudarte. Si tú eras como una de las mejores alumnas de tu escuela. Entonces todo eso me toco conseguir a mí, como mama de Domenica. Conseguir toda esa información. Y por eso, por eso sabía que solamente podías ir a estas escuelas super importantes. Y yo nunca pensé que no podías ir. Ni siquiera sabia el tanto por ciento de aceptación, el seis por ciento, y yo solo rezaba por todos lados. Rezaba en mi grupo de Biblia, rezaba en Misa. En todas partes para que Domenica entre. ¡Y vez, estas aquí! Y siento que vale la pena, siempre, Domenica, contigo. Todos los esfuerzos. De nada me arrepiento contigo. De todas las madrugadas, de todos los fríos, de todas las idas en el viento en Oregon para que vayas al community center para que sigas cartooning o swimming. De nada me arrepiento porque tú también pusiste tu parte, así por eso Dios te bendijo y estas aquí.

Note about copyright, attribution, and citation:  StoryCorps holds the copyright to the audio recordings of interviews and to the photographs of the participants; StoryCorps has licensed limited use of those to the Bureau of Study Counsel/Harvard University.  Harvard University owns the copyright to all other material on the First-Gen Voices website (bsc.harvard.edu/first-gen-voices).  Quotations of the transcripts and translations of interviews from the website by parties other than StoryCorps and the Bureau of Study Counsel should be attributed/cited as follows: “This excerpt is from a website created by the Bureau of Study Counsel of Harvard University with interviews recorded by StoryCorps (www.storycorps.org), a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.”

 

Read the Transcript in English

“Here you are!”

Domenica: Daughter/ Hija
Claudia: Mother/ Madre

Claudia: And so I had to learn everything. I had to learn what you had to do. That’s why you were in a great high school, where there were people, where there were people who weren’t selfish, and when I asked, they would give me answers. And I have always liked to learn. And it took hours and hours in front of Google searching what [the college application] was, what was needed, what colleges were there to help you because you weren’t a U.S. citizen but rather Ecuadorian. For U.S. citizens, it’s easier, there’s even financial aid. But for you there were only around six universities that would help international students, because you were – so I had to figure it all out, because not even your high school college counselor knew. He didn’t know, she didn’t know, that no one would be able to offer you financial aid. And you were one of the best students at your school. And so I had to figure it all out by myself, as Domenica’s mom. I had to find all of that information. And because of that, I knew that you could only go to really prestigious schools. And I never thought you couldn’t do it. I didn’t even know what the acceptance rates were, six percent, I only prayed everywhere I went. I prayed with my Bible group, I prayed during Mass. Everywhere, so Domenica would be accepted. And you see, here you are! And it feels like it is all worth it, all of it, Domenica, with you. All of our struggle. I don’t regret anything with you. None of the early mornings, none of the cold days, none of the windy trips in Oregon that we had to make to get to the community center so you could take cartooning or swimming. I don’t regret anything because you also put in your part, that’s why God blessed you and you are here.

Note about copyright, attribution, and citation:  StoryCorps holds the copyright to the audio recordings of interviews and to the photographs of the participants; StoryCorps has licensed limited use of those to the Bureau of Study Counsel/Harvard University.  Harvard University owns the copyright to all other material on the First-Gen Voices website (bsc.harvard.edu/first-gen-voices).  Quotations of the transcripts and translations of interviews from the website by parties other than StoryCorps and the Bureau of Study Counsel should be attributed/cited as follows: “This excerpt is from a website created by the Bureau of Study Counsel of Harvard University with interviews recorded by StoryCorps (www.storycorps.org), a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.”

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first-gen voices

First Gen Voices

The Bureau of Study Counsel collaborated with StoryCorps to record conversations between first-generation-to-college Harvard College juniors and their parents (or other members of their family or community).

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