Ana-Mariana Sotomayor Palomino

Last updated: 2017

Ana-Mariana Sotomayor Palomino

2017 Beat the Odds Honoree

Even before Ana-Mariana was born, her mother was enduring beatings at the hands of her father. The violence began when Ana-Mariana was in the womb and continued until Ana­ Mariana's mother was finally able to escape her abusive husband-twelve years later. For most of her life, Ana-Mariana witnessed those beatings and often saw her mother covered in blood with dark bruises all over her body.

Ana-Mariana's mother had already suffered a lifetime of pain so when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2015, Ana almost lost all hope. Nonetheless, she stayed strong. While her mother underwent chemotherapy and eventually a double mastectomy, Ana became the protector, taking care of her younger sister, cooking their meals and helping her with school work. Because her mom could not work as much, the family had to move to an area where rent was cheaper. Despite all this, Ana has maintained a GPA of 4.2, driven to honor the sacrifices her mother has made so that she could have a better life.

Ana-Mariana often thinks that it would be nice to have a supportive father around, but she knows her reality. "My father, the man I loved, did not love me back."

Ana-Mariana hopes to attend college and study journalism.