Silvana from Stokesdale, North Carolina

As an immigrant child living in Queens, NY, the new world was scary, cold, and overwhelming. The new foods and strange language and no relatives was enough to frighten a small child, but my mother took my second grade teacher's advice and walk me to the public library three blocks beyond our school building. Although she stood outside and sent me in only for ten minutes to pick out books, my mother made the best decisions for my life. She instilled in me a love of reading, a mastery of the English language, exploration, peace and, eventually, a career. I am now a high school librarian in North Carolina and mentor ESOL students to take advantage of our free resources to make a better life for themselves and their parents.