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Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Big Brother by Georgia Martinez

Every now and then I stumble on a piece of writing that truly touches my heart and soul. This is especially true when I read inspiring stories about overcoming obstacles or facing fears and disappointments. When my student Georgia Martinez and her brother Fernando decided to stay in the United States and build a future for themselves, they probably had not read the words of Helen Keller who said, "Nothing can be done without hope and confidence," but I am sure they knew exactly what she meant. I am honored to feature Georgia's essay and allow you to read about the young"fearless" man who helped shape her life.

What makes a person successful? Do you know the qualities of a successful person? I thought a successful person was someone who had a lot of money. However, within time I learned the true qualities of a successful person. In 1990 my mother, brother, and I moved to the United States. My mother, Ana and my older brother, Fernando also known as Nando, lived in a room in my aunt's house. In 1993 my mother suffered a stroke and was treated in the hospital for eight days. My mother made the decision to go back to Peru to receive treatment because she did not have medical insurance in the US. My mother's side of the family wanted my brother and me to go back to Peru because no one wanted to be responsible for us. Nando refused to move back to Peru and agreed to take care of me in the U.S. I was only 12 years old when my brother and I moved in together. My brother has the qualities of a successful person because his attitude, energy, and courage drove him to succeed.

First of all, Nando had a unique and positive attitude. Nando and I moved in together into a small one bedroom apartment with only two beds, so he started working two jobs. Nando would go to work day and night then come home take me to school and pick me up every day. Little by little he started buying furniture, TV’s, and decorations for the apartment. Even when things would go wrong, Nando would manage to keep going with a positive attitude. One of my aunts would always tell him to send me back to Peru because he was not capable of raising a little girl. Most of my family was quick to give advice, but they never helped him. My aunts would come to our apartment to argue with Nando because in their eyes Nando was not doing well. Nando would say "everything is going to be alright Georgia" after my aunts would leave the apartment. Nando eventually stopped going to high school to be able to work and support the house.

Secondly, Fernando was always full of energy, so he managed to run errands every day. For example, Nando would get off work, pick me up from school, do grocery shopping, cook, and sometimes do laundry all in one day. As time went by Nando saved enough money to buy equipment to start his own company. Nando then quit one job and started cutting lawns in 1998. He would have a green board next to the phone in the kitchen to write down the schedule of all the clients that needed their lawn cut every week. Fernando made me responsible for calling him every hour to keep him on schedule while he was cutting lawns. In addition, because I was home alone, Nando would keep me in check. I have to recognize that he made a smart move by making me his dispatcher. Nando took care of me during childhood and adolescence. He showed me how to cook, clean the house, drive a car, and be independent. Nando would say, “If something is hard to do never quit; always keep trying”. For my brother the most important thing was for me to finish high school and have a career. Thanks to him I had perfect attendance in school, good grades, and a job to support myself.

Finally, Fernando had so much courage that he decided to buy a house and go back to school to get his G.E.D. The day after my high school graduation Nando said to me, “It’s time to buy a house”. I questioned my brother asking him why he was going back to school? Why are we buying a house that we can’t afford? Fernando got mad and said, “You cannot tell me what I can or can’t do. Nothing is impossible in life, specially living in the U.S. I have the spirit and I know I can do it.” That was the last and only time I questioned his actions. My brother told me to be optimistic and to stop thinking negatively. In June 1999 my brother completed school and got his G.E.D. from Miami Senior High. He never gave up school while he was working, and he would stay up late doing his homework. Fernando was like my mother and father all in one. I never saw Fernando depressed, and he never said let's go back to Peru. In 2007, Fernando married a nice lovely woman. Today Fernando lives in the house he bought in Orlando, Florida.

My brother Fernando has accomplished all his goals. He has his own business, bought his dream house and got married. This is why I consider my big brother to be a successful person. Fernando fought a good fight, finished his course and kept his faith.

Thank you Georgia for allowing me to share your story...


  1. I don't know what to say. My eyes are full of tears. That was incredibly touching and inspiring.

  2. What a great story! I understand it all too well.
    Fernando and Georgia both are an inspiration.
    I wish them luck in life.
    Have a great weekend.

  3. Wow!!!!! i must say best inspirational story,yet!!! it was very inspiring!

  4. What a great story! Just goes to show what you can do with faith, accountability and courage.

    Thanks for sharing Georgia's story!

  5. I'm glad everyone enjoyed my story. It was hard to overcome my obstacles, but it was never imposible.

    Thank you for your comments.


  6. I also want to thank my professor, Mrs. Cueto, for giving the opportunity to share my story with everyone and for encouraging me to think freely.


  7. Magnificent story! just magnificent! - Nards

  8. Wow!, thanks so much oh fearless one. I sit here and took in each and every moment of this story being shared, and absorbed it. Please thank Georgia for sharing a part of her life as well for me. Metta

  9. Absolutely wonderful. I am really glad I stopped by.

  10. And I am always glad to see you here Anna. :)


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