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  • Through Their Eyes: Future Forensic Anthropologist Sara Estrada

    Sara Arlett Estrada

    “I love watching Bones on TV—I can’t believe Zack Addy blew his hand off. My mom is a doctor, and I’m in love with not only preventing but also solving crimes. I grew up wanting to be in the FBI and medical school. See, in Bogotá, I could never be a forensic anthropologist. The option wasn’t available to me. All the jobs are more general, like being a doctor, lawyer, or in the army.”

    Twelve-year-old Sara Estrada is one of America’s newest citizens. Uprooted from the bustling city of Bogotá, Colombia, and replanted in the quiet suburbs of Virginia, Sara is now pursuing her dream of becoming a forensic anthropologist. Though her path included complex court cases and appeals, Sara successfully became an American citizen during a special Citizenship Ceremony during the 2017 Folklife Festival’s On the Move program.

    When Sara first arrived in the United States at eight years old, she only spoke Spanish. However, with the help of new friends, she learned a useful amount of English within her first month. An avid lover of learning, she explained that she wants to take advantage of the education American schools have to offer.

    “Right now, I’m going to seventh grade, but I’m in the advanced sciences, and I have a college reading level. My teachers actually can’t find more books for me to read in the school library! I highly recommend The Other Einstein or The Breadwinner. I love that I get this opportunity to learn and that I’m on the track to what I want to do. That’s not something I could’ve gotten as a girl in Bogotá.”

    Laura Zhang is studying neuroscience and Plan II Honors at The University of Texas at Austin. Currently, she is an intern at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and exudes a passion for social justice, stories, and dogs of all kinds.

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