Fabiola Cohate is a 1st-year student majoring in Urban Studies. “In the past few months, I have wanted to be able to recognize the heroes during this pandemic, which are the essential workers. Those essentials workers have been providing food for us to support our family, but many of these people in the front line have lost their lives and are not being seen as heroes yet.”
My name is Fabiola Cohate and I am the daughter of Benito and Blanca. Our family comes from Tecomatlan Puebla and Guerrero, Mexico. When my parents migrated to New York City they were teenagers. They came with hopes and dreams to make a better life for themselves in the United States. Together, they started a family and have raised me and my brothers in the Bronx. My parents have made education a priority in our home and they make many sacrifices for us. Before the global pandemic, I aspired of studying law and helping the immigrant population. My goal is to help make a clear pathway to citizenship. The global pandemic has made me more certain about my career aspirations and has opened my eyes to the world.
Emotionally, I have felt depressed, angered, and heartbroken for myself and the immigrant community. I am upset because some people can sit at home and relax during the pandemic. Some people are making Tik Tok videos, but for the immigrant families, we need to help each other. One difficulty I experienced in my home was my father and other family members having to work. They did not have the luxury to stay at home. My father works in the food distribution industry and his job is considered essential. Thankfully, he was only sick for a few days, but then he had to go back to work. Sadly, my uncle and my father’s best friend did not have the same story and they lost their lives due to Covid-19. This has left my family devastated and broken. It has taught me that life can end soon.
During this time at home, I have dedicated myself more to my schoolwork and finishing my senior year. When my father goes to work it does not mean we just get to sleep late and have fun. My mom is waking us up early and getting us to our virtual classrooms. It has been challenging for me to be without the support of my friends and teachers. I have learned to reach out and email teachers to get the support I need to complete work. During this marking period, I was proud of my accomplishment and I earned an honor roll for my schoolwork. I am most proud of this because I completed the work, while also having to deal with the stress of losing family members and watching my dad leave to work.
While I am fearful when my father leaves to work, I do understand why he makes the sacrifice. My father and mother have been helping other family members and neighbors during this pandemic. They have been generous and helped others with food and their bills.