Stephanie Guevara

My existence is proof that this country truly is a melting pot. My Ecuadorian parents raised me and my brother in New York City. We spoke Spanish at home and English at school. At times growing up I felt like I didn’t belong here, and yet being bilingual, I get to be a part of two incredible cultures. One day can be spent with my family listening to Ecuadorian music, dancing, and enjoying delicious food. The next, I can participate in American democracy by marching for Black Lives Matter and calling my legislators to demand justice.

Our story is the classic immigrant story: foreign-born parents sacrificing and working tirelessly so that their American-born children can achieve their dreams. I would not be working as a software engineer at Twitter without the support and hard work of my parents.

They met in their early 20s, while traveling the world with a folkloric dance troupe. My dad, the fourth youngest of 10 siblings, had been enrolled in medical school but dropped out when the family could no longer afford the tuition. And yet, he wasn’t going to let that stop him from making a life for himself—or stop his three young sisters from going to college. In 1982, he moved to the U.S. and first found work as a truck driver, and later taught himself bookkeeping. He eventually put his sisters through college and provided a wonderful life for my mom, my brother and me.

After graduating from Hunter College in 2014, I worked as an assistant buyer for Macy’s. My parents were proud I’d landed a good job at a well-known company. And yet, when I told them I wanted to quit that job to enroll in a four-month coding boot camp they supported me, even though they didn’t fully understand why. I’ve always loved logical thinking and creative problem solving, and my degree is in statistics and applied math, so pursuing a career as a software engineer was a natural fit. I love my co-workers, but I also believe in the leadership at Twitter. We are working to make the internet a better place for dialogue and discussion. It’s incredible knowing that my work will be seen and used by millions of people to do that.

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…