Notes from a Latina Student
Katherine Bonilla Gutierrez is a 2018 graduate of Frederick High School in Frederick County. Katherine traveled alone from El Salvador to Frederick to be with her mother, who left her country for the U.S. when Katherine was six.
Katherine graduated just four years after arriving in Frederick with no English language skills. In her school, she became a leader and mentor to other Latinx students.
One of her teachers was Connie Antosca, an ELL teacher whose email signature is Rigor, Relevance, Relationships. “Katherine displayed strong faith and inner strength in her quest to overcome obstacles,” Antosca said. “She embodies the traits of generations of immigrants to our country that make us great — resilience, determination, and persistence. She will go very far.”
“The hardest part for us is the language because we are so desperate to be understood,” said Katherine. “This makes many students choose to drop out and get a job where they don’t have to speak with English-speaking people.”