MARZIEH ILBEGI TEYMOURY
I left my home country Iran 9 years ago with my two boys, now 23 and 15 years old. There were many reasons to leave -- I had an arranged marriage through my parents. I married the guy they liked, but it was a horrible marriage. Domestic violence, sexual harassment and violence were gifts from this marriage. I cried when I first slept with him, but I had no right to complain. I became pregnant with my first son who witnessed violence and my ex using drugs in front of him. Eight years later, I became pregnant with my second son. My life was so difficult, I had thoughts of leaving my country. We moved to Malaysia as refugees, lived there for 5.5 years when an agency helped us move to the U.S. 3 years ago. I had no family here, nor any idea how to start over. Fortunately, my County caseworker told me about Miramar College. I enrolled in ESL classes and applied for Financial Aid and EOPS/CARE programs that all helped me. They provided the best opportunities, helping with supplies, books and everything I need to study. As a single mom with two boys, it is so difficult to manage everything with lots of responsibilities. Recently, my older son has sleep Apnea. He had to buy a machine that insurance doesn’t cover. It cost $1650. With this scholarship money, I can pay back almost half. I am so thankful for everything that these programs have done for me.