In February 1962, three years into Fidel Castro’s rule of their Cuban homeland, the González family - an auto mechanic, his wife, and two young children - landed in Miami with a few personal possessions and two bottles of Cuban rum. As his parents struggled to find work, 11-year-old Gerardo struggled to fit in at school, where a teacher intimidated him and school authorities placed him on a vocational track. Inspired by a close friend, Gerardo decided to go to college. He not only graduated but, with hard work and determination, placed himself on a path through higher education that brought him to a deanship at the Indiana University School of Education.
In this deeply moving memoir, González recounts his remarkable personal and professional journey. It demonstrates the transformative power that access to education can have on one person’s life. Gerardo’s journey came full circle when he returned to Cuba 50 years after he left, no longer the scared, disheartened refugee but rather proud, educated, and determined to speak out against those who wished to silence others. His is the story of one immigrant attaining the American Dream, told at a time when the fate of millions of refugees throughout the world, and Hispanics in the United States, especially his fellow Cubans, has never been more uncertain.
The book is published by Indiana University Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.
“There can be no more persuasive testimony to the power of intelligence, commitment, and inspiration than Gerardo M. González's memoir.” (John V. Lombardi, President Emeritus, University of Florida, and author of How Universities Work)
“This is a delightful read, and one that will inspire you to achieve greatness regardless of the odds.” (Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, President, Miami Dade College)