I'm a Product of My Community
By: Natalie Torres-Haddad, Award winning author of Financially Savvy in 20 Minutes
I am a product of my community and my education as a Salvadorian-American.
One of the major reasons why I am an advocate for dual literacy in our education system is because growing up in a bilingual home and now being married to an Arabic husband we hope to instill a third language to our future children. I grew up in a predominately Spanish speaking community, Inglewood CA.
I was born in El Salvador, in the midst of a terrible civil war in the 80's that rattled our country, my family fled from El Salvador for the US for survival and hoped for temporary sanctuary from the violence and turmoil. After 13 years of that civil war my family had settled down and laid roots in Inglewood, CA.
I have gotten the best opportunities because of being bilingual and overcoming adversity every day
My father's rule in the home was Spanish only and outside of the home, my mom's rule was English only in the hopes my brother and I would practice both languages.
I felt fortunate that our schools had the option to take all Spanish classes, then in 3rd grade we would test to be transferred to all English classes. I struggled in having confidence in either language, but luckily, I could I check out as many books as I needed. A problem I found in most books that I would read in Spanish, was they never represented my culture. As I grew older I learned most authors were not from Latino descendent. This inspired me to someday become an author to help contribute to enrich the diverse cultures we are so lucky to be surrounded by in our communities.