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Juana Matias Featured In CNN Independence Day Special

Jul 14, 2018 08:48PM ● Published by Theresa Gilman

Juana Matias

(Editor's Note: the following information was provided by Team Matias.)

Juana Matias, State Representative and candidate for Congress in Massachusetts’ third Congressional district, was featured on Independence Day in a piece on CNN. In the piece, Matias writes about her experience as a young immigrant to the United States, and how it inspired her to live a life dedicated to public service. The feature comes on the heels of The Hill naming Matias as a 2018 Latina Leader to Watch.

July 4, 2018
By Juana Matias

I came to this country with my parents from the Dominican Republic in search of a better life. The memory of boarding a plane from Santo Domingo to Boston when I was 5 years old feels like it was just yesterday. Although I had my family at my side, it was pretty scary at first. Leaving behind friends, family and a familiar home for a sea of unfamiliar faces speaking a language I couldn't understand was daunting. I can't imagine what it would have been like without my parents.

We came here in search of better opportunities -- and used those opportunities to give back. My parents worked blue-collar factory jobs, often at minimum wage, and saved enough to open their own business and buy a home. I attended good public schools, graduated college and received a law degree by working my way through school.

America gave us those opportunities in the same manner she has given tens of millions of immigrants a chance to achieve the American dream, dating back to our founding. As we celebrate Independence Day, I'm thinking about all the strivers past and present -- those people who came to these shores and achieved their American dream, and all those around the world with dreams of doing the same.

Hard work, perseverance, a good education and newfound opportunities gave me a chance to succeed and fueled my determination to help ordinary Americans. It inspired me to run for public office.

Despite the odds, I became just the second Latina to get elected as a state representative in Massachusetts' history. Now, I'm running for Congress because as a woman, an immigrant and successful lawyer and state representative, I believe our diversity is what truly makes America great.

Juana B. Matias is a lawyer and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and a candidate for Congress for the 3rd Congressional District of that state. She lives in Lawrence, Mass.
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