In this, our fourth of five installments in our “New Voices” series (read more about the series below), we hear from Marisa who writes about the strength and tenacity of her personal inspiration: her mother.

(You can download the audio of Marisa reading her essay by right-clicking on the link or you can stream it by clicking of the play button.)

Marisa Writes about her mother

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New Voices (you can listen to the first installment HERE, and the second installment HERE) came about this past Spring when The Big Something recorded personal essays by a group of students, many of whom, though not all, are immigrants learning English as a second language. Others are adults studying for their GED while working full-time jobs.

Their teacher, Sue Spengler, writes:

Teaching adults is beyond rewarding; I feel as if I am teaching two generations at once, because I know that whatever they learn, they will then be able to pass on to their children. My students inspire me every day with their persistence, determination, and often humor in the midst of it all. I repeatedly profess to them that EVERYONE has a story to tell, and that theirs are just as important as anybody elses.

Although they may be reading at the middle school level, many of my students are second language learners whose speaking and writing skills are still developing. So I have them talk and write about their lives. Thanks to KRCC, they now have a chance to tell them. I am so proud of their courage.

If you’d like to learn more about the students in Sue Spengler’s class, you can read their blogs at, and at

(We always read and love and listen to your feedback, even if we don’t always respond directly. Please leave some below or email us at Thanks!)


9 Responses to New Voices 4: Marisa

  1. oscar says:

    Esa es mi vieja (wife)

  2. Vicky says:

    Thats a very touching story Marrisa. Your mom sounds like a very brave, loving,caring, honest person and I belive she is. I feel the same as you because i have all of my family in Mexico and when I talk to her I feel something inside my throat, but you can never hide something from a mom. They always know if something is wrong. Inside my heart I belive I will see them again someday.I am proud of you because you are such a brave person. Great story. It really touched my heart.

  3. Lorena says:

    WOW Thanks for sharing the life of a strong and courageous woman. This story is just an example how much one mother has to do for their children and; unfortunately, some times is never recompensed.

  4. Silvia says:

    Great story thanks for sharing with us. I bet your mom is really proud of you. For your courage to see life, and look back to the past. Hope you get to show you mom how proud you are of her.

  5. racheal says:

    That story made me drop some tears, just because I can see your story on my husbands life. His parents separate when he was 12 years old. His here in the U.S.A now by him self well besides me. I admire all the people that besides what they went through they are still standing up on there own,and i can understand when you are away from your family you really miss them and will hope to see them soon specially when you are away for years. But Marisa I admire you for having the strength to tell us your story even though it hurt you I could tell in your voice the sadness that the story cause you and that story meant a lot to me thank you Marisa….

  6. joseph says:

    Well Marisa that was a great story, my mother is the same way in life. She always their to take care of me and All our kids at home. She really works hard for us. She means the world to me and my kids. We thank god for leaving us with such a great mother.

  7. marina says:

    This story touch my heart MARISSA because even my dad don’t go away from us. He always was here in the USA, and when he going to visit us it was only for a little time. and the most time my mom was alone with us sometimes she cried and I could feel her feelings when she was alone.So congratulations its a great story.

  8. Marisol says:


  9. virgil says:

    I understand where your coming from my mom is one of 7 children but in that aspects her father was also a drunk.But he also work very hard to get them out of Sicily. And my grandma rased all of the children in there apartment now be before you think “Isn’t that a little to small to rase 7 kid” the apartments in Sicily,let me explain,an apartment here is not even half the size there.It is kind of a studio apartment here in the US. So i understand now where your coming from.And thank you for sharing your story, I must of takin alot to tell this story so thanks again.


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