‘Why not give it a shot?’: Brooklyn woman chases dreams while living in shelters
A Brooklyn woman is chasing her dreams in the city that never sleeps after losing everything to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Natasha Villegas was living in hotels and homeless shelters when she and her family moved to New York City.
“When we came here, we didn’t have nothing,” Villegas says. “We were homeless for two years.”
Villegas worked a part-time job while in high school to help take care of her family.
She says there were days when having food to eat was a struggle.
“One time, I came back from my part-time job and I ate with the little money that I had because I hadn’t ate all day,” Villegas says.
“And I came back to the shelter and my mom was like, ‘Do you have any money because we haven’t eaten today.’ And I literally broke down because I just ate and my family didn’t.”
She enrolled in Hostos Community College near the homeless shelter and began taking classes in animation.
Villegas even won an award for her work.
She says even with challenges, it’s important to keep going.
“You have to keep trying,” Villegas says. “That’s all you have left, why not give it a shot? And, you know, don’t give up.”
She says drawing and creating is a way for her to cope with her situation.
Villegas says she hopes to one day get her bachelor’s degree and start a career in film.