The clouds are dark outside the East Boston apartment complex where Ana Osorio has lived for more than a decade with her daughter, Stefani, when the cellphone alarm goes off at 6:10 a.m.
After a quick shower, Osorio gets dressed, puts on some makeup, and runs to the kitchen to prepare oatmeal for the two of them. When she has time, she makes eggs with beans, a nod to her Honduran upbringing and a favorite of her daughter. But on this day, they’re sleepy. A fire alarm had rung at 4 a.m. and disrupted their sleep.
“Are you ready, Stefani?” calls Osorio in English from the kitchen as she pours the oatmeal mix into portable travel mugs.
“Yeah,” says Stefani, a stylish 18-year-old with a ready smile, as she comes out of her room, a rose gold cellphone in her hand.
Osorio has to drop Stefani at high school in Charlestown by 7:30 before heading to the Harvard Business School (HBS), where she has worked as a custodian for the past 3½ years. When they climb into their white Subaru, Stefani smiles and starts taking selfies with her phone. Sometimes she turns off the radio station her mother favors, Kiss 108 FM, to listen to the playlist on her phone, which includes Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, and Halsey.
“Don’t forget to take the oatmeal with you,” Osorio reminds her.
“What’s for dinner, mom?” Stefani asks.
“Tonight, I’ll be home late, mami,” says Osorio, using a Spanish term of endearment. “Have a cheese sandwich or a quesadilla.”
On this chilly morning, the car cruises along Route 1A and leaves Revere and Chelsea behind. The Boston skyline emerges as the clouds lift.