Estela G. Torres: Resident since 1984
This is an excerpt from Neighbors: Oral History from Madera, California Volume 2 by Lawrence F. Lihosit, a local historian. It is available at Maildrop and G.B.S. on Howard and on Amazon.com Books.
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The fifth of nine children, Estela G. Torres was born on November 12, 1958 in Zamora, Mexico (106 miles southeast of Guadalajara) where she completed grammar school, secondary and accounting studies. Orphaned at a young age, she raised four younger siblings while working and studying. She immigrated to Madera at the age of twenty-six where she worked various jobs while studying and eventually earned an Associate of Arts degree from Reedley College. She recently retired after a twenty-three-year career at the Fresno Housing Authority where she worked her way up to accountant. An active member of a Latin American women’s social group. Mrs. Torres and her husband raised two children in Madera.
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When my younger sister came north a few years later, we moved out and rented an apartment near Burger King on Cleveland. By then I had a steady job at the Housing Authority. I began work there in 1989 as a clerk. They promoted me to accounting technician and finally accountant. I kept track of financial reports for HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development), everything including grants and monies in ten different accounts.
Years later, Joe and I are still married. Our two children earned university degrees and work. My older son, Joe, received his degree from Northridge University and lives and works in Los Angeles. My younger child, Gaby, received her degree from U.C. Davis (University of California Davis) and teaches third grade at Webster Elementary School. I give thanks to God for being by my side, guiding me.