From Colombia to the Friends of IPM Award: a Masters’ student’s story

by Luis Aristizabal

In December 2006, when I arrived in the USA with the anticipation of working in agricultural sciences I had no idea how difficult it would be to be successful. My first difficulty was getting all my documents and paperwork together to become a legal immigrant. This process took about six months. After I got my authorization, I found any work I could to support my family. After one year of working at a car wash in Tampa, FL, I decided that I could not work in part-time jobs forever. I told myself, “I was working as a professional in my country; now I want to work as a professional in the USA.” But getting a professional job was not an easy task. My English was not good enough to study in a university or work as a pest management consultant as I did in Colombia. Continue reading