From Humble Beginnings to Achieving the American Dream

Maureen FranciscoSeveral months ago I held a drawing for free editing—one winner came from this blog and another from my Facebook page. The Facebook winner, Maureen Francisco, was a previous client of mine: I had the privilege of proofreading her debut self-help book, It Takes Moxie: Off the Boat, or Out of School, to Making It Your Way in America. Maureen wanted to submit a couple of articles related to her for publication, so she used her prize to have me edit them for her. (Stay tuned—one of them was picked up by a major source and will appear later this week!)

It Takes Moxie offers the tools, strategies, and principles Maureen used to achieve her own success (see details below) as well as the stories of immigrants who achieved the American Dream in a big way, including Dr. Connie Mariano,the White House doctor; Richard Cho, the first Asian-American GM of a major sports franchise; Amy Chua, author of the New York Times bestseller Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom; Teddy Zee, executive producer of The Pursuit of Happyness and Life or Something Like It, and many more.

Check out It Takes Moxie (and all the five-star reviews) on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Update May 2013: It Takes Moxie has been selected as a winner in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category of the 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards. Congratulation to Maureen!

I loved (proof)reading Maureen’s book; she tells a very compelling story. Here’s the press release for It Takes Moxie:

How Immigration is Transforming the Nation’s Work Ethic
Award-winning journalist shares success stories of high profile immigrants, including her own
Seattle, WA –According to statistics, a child living in poverty will stay in poverty. According to statistics, Maureen Francisco was destined for the same fateful fact of life, where things just ‘happen’ to you. But according to Maureen, success is dependent upon what you do.
     Maureen immigrated to the US from the Philippines when she was just five years old. Her English was poor at best and the teasing was non-stop at school. However, Maureen did not play the victim card. She used her experiences as motivation rather than limitation. She diligently practiced English until she mastered it, and wound up with a better grasp on it than her native English-speaking peers. She worked three jobs simultaneously to pay for her college education while still managing to graduate at the top of her class.
     After finding success in broadcast television with the same combination of hard work and a single vision, Maureen is sharing her experiences—in success and failure—to help others like her. Through personal reflection and the pithy vignettes of several high-profile individuals with humble beginnings, Maureen outlines the work habits that lead to success in her upcoming book, It Takes Moxie: Off the Boat, Or Out of School, To Making It Your Way In America(January, 2013).  In it, she points out that immigrants are doing more good for our country than what’s currently perceived by our culture.
     “I see that the economy in this country is declining, yet there are certain people who are still achieving their American Dream: immigrants, children of immigrants, or people who come from humble beginnings,” says Maureen. “They all have something in common: positive attitude.”
     It Takes Moxie features the stories of Dr. Connie Mariano, the White House doctor; Richard Cho, the first Asian-American GM of a major sports franchise; Amy Chua, author of the New York Times Best Seller Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother; Teddy Zee, Executive Producer The Pursuit of Happyness & Life or Something Like That and many more. They all have one thing in common: a refusal to accept “no” for an answer.
     It’s not just for immigrants, either: recent college graduates who are hungry for a position aligned with their degrees will benefit from the insider advice in It Takes Moxie. With step-by-step instructions on how to overcome adversity, finding your passion, taking pride in who you are, landing that first job and learning the value of money, Maureen models how to pursue life goals with a proper mix of ambition, savvy, reason, and humility.
     Her credo is simple: you can’t live in fear, you can’t limit yourself, and you can’t stop striving for your life goals.
     It’s safe to say that Maureen has realized the American dream, but she’s not done yet. Like she says, success is a daily task.
     MAUREEN FRANCISCO moved on to reality TV after accomplishing her career goals in broadcast journalism. Six years and several slammed doors later, Maureen realized her goal of becoming a reality TV star when she was cast in FOX’s Solitary 3.0. Now Maureen is the co-owner of NW Productions, a media and production company, and is writing her first screenplay.  She lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more at

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