EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 22, 2012

'I can see a good future'

Much Thanksgiving lore is built around stories of newcomers like the Pilgrims, who hundred of years ago were gratified with the opportunity to settle in the “new world.”

Numerous modern-day area residents also left their original homelands and were themselves newcomers to this region.

They have memories of their decision to come to a different country and feelings about making a new life here.

NEWBURYPORT — When Inessa Veber is serving customers at The Grog restaurant, visitors noting an accent guess she is from Italy or Spain or Brazil.

But the blue-eyed, raven-haired Veber is from Russia and she is crafting a life on the North Shore in part because there are more opportunities here than in her home country.

She is working full-time and also studying, but the energetic newcomer is upbeat about persevering in America.

“To get ahead in my country, you need to know the right people,” said Veber, 24, who works as a bartender and part-time manager at the popular restaurant. “If you want to go to college in Russia, you have to pay someone just to be able to apply.

“Here this is more opportunity. It hasn’t been easy for me, coming here alone, but I can see a good future.”

Veber’s mother is a doctor and her father an engineer. She was a law student in her home city of Astrakan (near Moscow) when she applied for a student-exchange program in the U.S.

She came to southern New Hampshire in 2008. To support herself, she worked in restaurants in Hampton, N.H. Then friends steered her to Newburyport.

She is studying criminal justice at North Shore Community College, though she is starting college over due to academic requirements.

“In Russia you go from high school to law school,” said Veber, who now speaks excellent English. “So here I will have to get my college degree and then start law school.

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