Striving to achieve the American Dream

Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 6:50 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - During this time of reflection and gratitude, very little seems normal as we navigate this global pandemic. The work of non-profits in many cases is even more crucial as so many have fallen on hard times.

“This is the University of life, that’s what I call the United States. The United States provides all of the opportunities that unfortunately I don’t have in my beautiful Colombia,” Offir Murillo states.

She has quite the story. Born in Cali, Colombia, she knows strife, struggles and limited opportunities all too well, as she details, “”I only was able to pay for one semester at the University because after that, I didn’t have any money, I don’t have funding, we don’t have free tuition like we do here in the United States.”

Murillo moved to America in April 1988. First to New York, then California. She settled in Reno in 2003, which was the first city to offer her jobs with benefits as opposed to just cash payments, adding, “I even have a lot of language barriers, but that never stops me. I just always want something; I want something better and I know I can do it.”

She is truly fearless. In the 2008 economic crash, Murillo lost her job due to layoffs and multiple properties…so what did she do? She enrolled in college to obtain her Associates Degree in her 40′s. “People complain, complain, complain and in my opinion, I have the best blessing to be in the United States,” Murillo tells us.

Hopefully you appreciate her perspective, the journey doesn’t stop there. Murillo lost another gig in early 2019, she’s then referred to our KOLO Cares Pillar Partner as she describes, “I meet the wonderful people at Dress for Success, oh my God. That program changed my life. “If they don’t know how to do a resume, they can help them. If they don’t know how to dress to be professional for an interview.”

This agency is so much more than just’s confidence, growth, a better salary and women uplifting women, as Murillo explains, “Patti, the CEO for this program, she always tells me, ….you never stop dreaming because as soon as you complete one dream, there’s another one waiting for you.” Murillo is a college graduate, mother and proud American, earning her citizenship in 2005. During this pandemic, she added another title by passing the exam to receive her real estate license.

Here’s a woman who encountered multiple obstacles, stumbled and stood even taller. What a wonderful reminder of where we live and the privileges, we have that so many others can only dream of.. “I always have hope that life is good, God is good and opportunities are there every day, I just need to look for those,” Murillo says.

If you’re in need of a Realtor, you can contact Offir Murillo by email at or by calling 775-315-1523.

To donate to Dress for Success or volunteer, visit

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