My name is Maritza Zermeño. I moved to Los Angeles from Mexico in 2000 as a single mother of 4 children. My English is self-taught, and I supported our family by opening a store that sold imported Mexican hand painted tile. I was very involved in the local school district as an art docent, and as a representative for English as a Second Language (ESL) and DESL. I was involved in the community and a board member of the Children’s Dental Center that provides free dental care to inner-city youth. I received insurance licenses for Accident and Health, Casualty Broker-Agent and Property Broker-Agent from California Department of Insurance in 2005, worked as a translator for a doctor doing autism research, and as an office manager at a financial planning company. It took years and tens of thousands of dollars to go through all of the confusing steps to finally become a citizen in 2008. I moved to Mount Vernon in 2010 after the last of my children had moved from home.