Laura Schoppe was born in Princeton, New Jersey, where her father attended graduate school, but her story actually starts years earlier. In the 1940s, her father’s family fled Spain during the Franco dictatorship, and then later her family emigrated from Argentina to the United States because of political persecution during the Peron dictatorship in the 1960s. She is the only American-born out of her family, and her parents made her speak Spanish in the house because they didn’t want her and her siblings to lose their heritage. “I hated this,” Schoppe says now. “But now I can’t thank my parents enough. I know it was tough on them, but I am so thankful to be bilingual.”