Grad Works to Support Family and Gain an Education

Esmeralda Sema


Esmeralda Sema of Winthrop has met many challenges since she and her family journeyed from war-torn Albania to the United States when she was 10.

She quickly learned English and has been able to help her family navigate the immigration laws, take the steps needed to become U.S. citizens, and manage home ownership and taxes.

Sema has worked full time at Suffolk University to make higher education affordable and to help her family.

“Esmerelda is half or one-third the age of her colleagues, yet we think of her as a friend and as a protégé,” said Suffolk University Accounting Professor Laurie Pant.  “I admire what she has accomplished at a very young age. ... I have watched her blossom from a young girl into a professional woman.”

Sema graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Government and a paralegal certificate. 

She plans to enter the Suffolk University MBA program in the fall, while maintaining her full-time University job.

“The dream to give back to this country that has opened the doors to many opportunities will always stay with me,” said Sema. “I want to become an immigration lawyer so I can assist people to lead better and more productive lives.”

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