11.13.2008

Hudson Valley Latinos: Franky Perez

The Poughkeepsie Journal's series, What life is like for valley Hispanics, gives its Hudson Valley readers a glimpse into the region's expanding Latino community.

This week they feature a piece on Franky Perez, 40, a guidance counselor in the local high school whose of Dominican heritage.

Very nice.
Poughkeepsie High School guidance counselor Franky Perez was born in Brooklyn to parents who had emigrated from the Dominican Republic and never spoke English at home while he was growing up.

Perez, 40, is the youngest of nine children - the only one not born in the Dominican Republic - and is married to a woman of Irish descent. Like two of his siblings, he attended college. However, he is the only one in his family to receive a master's degree. Actually, he has two of them.

Perez, of New Paltz, maintains strong connections to his heritage.

"Knowing that my parents were immigrants, knowing that they came here for a better life, it helped in shaping me," he said. "I needed to do the best I could in school and make sure I was getting ready for my life in America, understanding what my parents had come from."
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Related: What life is like for Hudson Valley Hispanics: Francisco Del Moral and Reyna Garcia, store owners
Latinos' local presence expanding