News Local/State

Challenges Of Higher Education Growing Up In A Migrant Family

Frida Arellano, a migrant worker and college student

Frida Arellano is a political science major at Eastern Illinois University. She moved to Arcola, Illinois with her family to find work. (Photo: Darrell Hoemann)

The Latino population across much of Central Illinois grew nearly 80 percent between 2000 and 2012. In Arcola, Latinos now make up nearly a third of the community.

That includes Frida Arellano.

Frida never thought that she would call Arcola, Illinois home, but she moved to Arcola from Texas with her family to work in the fields near the city.

It was supposed to be temporary, but things didn’t work out that way.

Arellano said her family has faced many challenges on their journey to Illinois, including being homeless.

As her family continues to work to make ends meet, Arellano hopes they can become stable so she can pursue her dreams of going to law school.

Frida is one of the voices that will be included in an event next Tuesday, called The Long Journey Home. It’s a conversation about the past, present and future of Latino migration in Central Illinois.