Migrant farmworker Meiby Mora Soto is both a leader and a Dreamer at East Coast Migrant Head Start Project. The 29-year-old mother of one has served as the president of ECMHSP’s Policy Council since her election to office by her peers in August 2017.
Meiby Mora attends the 2017 National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association Public Policy Forum and Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Mora Soto was brought to the United States of America from Mexico at the age of 14 in November 2003. She attended high school in Bradenton, Florida, for 18 months, but then dropped out and began working a variety of jobs in and around Bradenton.
Beginning in 2010, she found her most steady employment as a migrant farmworker. She has picked tomatoes in her current hometown of Immokalee, Florida, and has traveled up the East Coast to the low country of South Carolina. She then travels to the Virginia Eastern Shore to live in a labor camp and work in the fields from July through November.
Meiby and her son, Jovani.
ECMHSP has taught Jovani the necessary skills to be successful in school. Meiby tells us that Jovani can easily make friends anywhere he goes. He’s a healthy and happy five-year-old boy – living proof of ECMHSP’s success.
In addition to being a leader, Meiby is a Dreamer. In 2015, ECMHSP offered Meiby pro bono immigration services to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). After multiple immigration lawyers had given her no hope of becoming a DACA recipient, staff at ECMHSP worked tirelessly to help Meiby. Nine months after her application was filed with USCIS, her DACA dream came true.
“ECMHSP not only gave me a safe haven for Jovani while I was at work, they have given me the opportunity to become an advocate for migrant farmworkers,” Meiby says. “They have shown me that my voice counts.”