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... LEO Program Essay. My life has had more than its fair share of upheavals and hardships. My childhood was spent on a small farm in Ecuador under thecare of my maternal grandparents. My mother, a single parent, worked long hours in the city in order to financially support us: although this necessitated a painful separation. At the age of twelve, I was devastated by the death of my grandmother who had been a second mother to me. This was closely followed by my mother’s departure for America, in search of a better life for herself and her family. It would be seven long years before we could be reunited. My younger sister and I joined our mother in America in 1996. From the time of this arrival, this...