The creation of La Casa De Esthersy is a dream come true for our founder, Esther Batista-Alburquerque.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic and now living in the U.S., Esther’s life has been marked by overcoming many challenges common among immigrant women, which she ultimately overcame through hard work, sacrifice, and a passion for helping others in need.
Esther’s desire to give back to those less fortunate began very early in life, attending her first days of school in the Dominican Republic.
“My family was poor, but my parents could still afford school supplies for my siblings and me,” Esther says. This was not true, however, for many other students in her class. “I was so sad that many of my friends whose families were too poor to afford even the most basic school supplies. No one should have to go to school with no pencil, no paper, nothing. I shared whatever I had with them.”
Esther also learned the importance of respecting and taking care of the elderly from her Grandmother. “She taught me that whatever we have in the present is because of the sacrifices the elderly made when they were young,” Esther says.
At 11, Esther came to the U.S. to live with her father and stepmother in New York City. Years later, as a teen mother to baby daughter Esthersy, she began working in customer services at the age of 16, and by age 21, became the owner of her own business for over a decade.
In September 2008, while attending Cambridge College in Cambridge, MA, Esthersy was diagnosed with cancer. Despite undergoing treatment at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, baby Esthersy did not survive.
Devastated by her loss but determined to overcome her grief, Esther pressed on with her studies and earned her bachelor’s degree in human science from Cambridge College in 2013. Fueled by her sense of empathy for others, passion for women’s issues and her own experiences as a single mother coping with the passing of her own daughter, Esther worked for the YWCA of Greater Lawrence in Lawrence, MA, as a crisis counselor assisting survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Esther later worked for the YWCA’s Women Health Advocacy Services program, linking medically vulnerable women to life-saving medical and cancer screening services. She was then promoted to Outreach Services Coordinator, educating and empowering women and individuals dealing with or caring for people living with chronic diseases.
During her professional journey at the YWCA, Esther completed her Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management from Cambridge College and went on to work for Lawrence Community Works as a Family Coaching Specialist, helping parents of students of the Lawrence Public Schools to improve their financial stability.
For many years since coming to America, Esther would buy as many school supplies and other items as she could afford, and ship them to the Dominican Republic to help meet the needs of children and seniors living there. One day, one of Esther’s professors in her Master’s Degree program suggested she create a foundation dedicated to serving this purpose and to benefit many more children and seniors than Esther possibly could on her own. From this simple beginning, La Casa De Esthersy became a reality.
Named after her daughter, La Casa De Esthersy (“The House of Esthersy”) is the ultimate outcome of Esther Batista-Alburquerque’s personal and professional experiences and her lifelong passion to serve others. “I understand firsthand how mentorship and providing people with a strong support system can make a tremendous difference in people’s lives,” Esther says.
“My vision for La Casa De Esthersy is that it will open its doors to individuals across generations and ethnicities,” says Esther. “We will transform lives by being part of the solution through the organization’s four principals: generosity, empathy, compassion and love.”