Beatriz del Olmo-Fiddleman sets an example for teenage immigrants struggling to adapt to their new lives and opportunities. Primary among the factors that make this possible is her intimate understanding of their experience; born and reared in Mexico, she, too, resettled in the United States.
“I identify with them, and that creates a bond,” said del Olmo-Fiddleman, who moved to San Diego, California, for her graduate work in 1999, and has lived in Gaithersburg’s Kentlands community for about five years. The mother of two Rachel Carson Elementary School students also works as a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker, where her manager Kelly Vezzi said she treats her clients with the same respect and professionalism as her students.
Although she grew up in a “conservative family”—one in which her parents believed that a woman’s place is in the home, del Olmo-Fiddleman wanted more. She embarked on that path with a bachelor of arts in graphic design from Anahuac del Sur University in her native Mexico City. When her application to study in the U.S. was approved, her parents told her she was crazy. “I have been there. I know how it feels to break traditions,” del Olmo-Fiddleman said, pointing out that she advises her students at Sherwood High School in Olney and Albert Einstein High School in Kensington to have a plan, whether that may be to return to their native country, pursue a college education or prepare for a specific career.
Del Olmo-Fiddleman proceeded to study at San Diego State University where she earned a master of fine arts in graphic design, was inducted into the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars—and met her future husband, whose work brought them to the Washington metropolitan area.