Silvana Hammo left Baghdad at the age of 19 and spent a year in Lebanon before being approved by the U.S. State Department to immigrate to San Diego.

She worked at a Subway sandwich shop for two years while she studied English, but always knew she wanted more. A relative told her about the WE STAR Center at IRC and their childcare licensing program, so she decided to seek their assistance to launch her own business. She attended their childcare business training program and, with their assistance, got her “small” family childcare license.

Silvana’s mother helps her with the childcare, and she now has 8 children between the ages of 3 to 5. She and her family recently purchased a larger home with a bigger garden and returned to the WE STAR Center for assistance in submitting the paperwork for her new location. Not content with this, she is now applying for a “large license” which will mean that she can look for other premises and employ other people. Lorna Strang, WE’s Board Liaison with the WE STAR Center, says, “We were all struck by her ambition and drive to be the best she can be!”