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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

I Made It, Lo Hice

By Alina Niebla  |   From : Cuba/Miramar  |   School : Everglades High School

I MADE IT

My name is Alina D. Niebla. I was born in Havana, Cuba on October 16, 2001. I’m seventeen years old. My parents tell me that I was a happy baby. I lived in Cuba for a year and I also lived in Zacatecas, Mexico for a year before coming to the United States. When I got here my mom started to work in a coin laundry and my dad worked as a taxi man. After living here for six years, my sister was born, she was born with autism and was cross eyed. After her birth, my mom had to have a heart surgery because when she had her C-section there was a lot of complications, but thank god a miracle happened. Her body fought and she didn’t have the surgery. After that, my parents where low on money and one of our family members was stealing money from the government through Medicaid and my parents decided to try that for a while to get some money and then they would drop it. However, like always so much money came in that they just didn’t want to stop. Then, we moved to a bigger house, but after a while my dad cheated on my mom and they got a divorce. Then the government started to bring people in to investigate the money situation, so my mom decided to stop before they got caught. My dad didn’t want to stop because he believed that he wouldn’t get caught, but that didn’t happen, he was the first one caught. After that, my mom and my siblings moved to key west with my step dad and I was happy again. It was my first day at a new school and I was about to turn eleven years old. I was starting a new life somewhere with people who didn’t know my story and wouldn’t judge me for my parent’s mistake. But it didn’t last long, right after my mom dropped me off at school she was arrested, and I was all alone, me, my sister and my brother. When we were home, we were freaking out about my mom not being there, but then the police arrived and my worst nightmare came. My uncle and aunt were brought by the police to take care of us since my brother wasn’t old enough to take care of us. What the police didn’t know was that my uncle and aunt were drug addicts and my uncle was a rapist. They came to take me to their house where I was their maid and all they did was drugs and eat. I would sleep with two people in one single bed and my sister would sleep on a mattress on the floor. I would have to take care of my sister because no one had the patience since she had autism. After a year and a half, I got to see my dad but he was in a half house so I couldn’t go live with him. After two months, I went to go live with him and his wife for a year. Until my mom got out and after, I was put in counseling. After a year, I went to go live with my mom, but my dad didn’t want to, so he stopped talking to me for about four years and we haven’t spoken since. Last time I tried talking to him he called the police because he said I was trespassing on his property. After this, I lived with my mom, my stepdad, and my sister. But this has made me the person I am today, and I am happy that I have a great family thanks to God, and now I can have everything that I didn’t have before. Because of this I want to study law for families and children. I am grateful for my friends and most of all my mom and step dad that have taught me everything I know and have given me the life I never thought I would have again. I learned from the people around me that I should never change who I am because I made it.

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