Aarely and Leslie Mazariegos are very close and act like twins although there is a year difference. They do everything together. When they were girls their parents dressed the same, they sent them to the same school and to the same room in the elementary and high school, and they even had the same friends. When they were adults they fell in love together and had their children almost at the same time. And not to lose the habit, this past May 27, 2017, they graduated together from St. Augustine College… and in the same career, they obtained an Associate in Early Child Education.

They were born in Chicago but their parents took them to Guatemala, as babies, and graduated as teachers there. In 2011 they returned to Chicago but felt foreign because of their lifestyle and especially because of the language. “We liked to study but the problem was the language because it was very difficult for us. We went to Wright College but did not make much progress with English until our dad told us about St. Augustine College and encouraged us to sign up. At that moment everything changed,” said Aarely, the eldest of the sisters.

“We started with a lot of enthusiasm but then we had to stop studying for a year when each of us married and had children. I had my girl and in a few months later my sister had a boy. I want to thank the counselors of SAC because they called us all the time to remind us that we had to finish our studies,” said Leslie.

“Yes, it was true that their encouragement and their insistence were very important because they reminded us of our mother who has always encouraged us to succeed. That was very nice for us and that’s why we went back to study until we graduated. The words of encouragement from Mrs. Carmen Rivera, the director of the College, also helped us a lot; She was like our mother, she cared about us all the time, “Aarely added.

“We returned to the College and more organized because we took turns taking care of the babies, while I went to study in the morning my sister went in the afternoon. Our husbands also encouraged us a lot, as did my dad. And that’s how we did it. Now we are waiting for SAC to open the undergraduate program in pre-school education to continue our studies,” concluded Leslie.