HORRY COUNTY (WMBF) – It was nearly two months ago that Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, destroying homes and even schools.
Nearly 14,000 students were evacuated, leaving their homes, friends and family behind. One of those students is now living in Horry County.
Sofia Santiago was on the island when Hurricane Maria hit. Like many things on the island, her school was destroyed.
To prevent Santiago from falling behind in school, her mother enrolled her at Socastee High School, where she is now a freshman and over 1,300 miles away from home.
Ramon Torres, Santiago's uncle who lives in Socastee, said much of his family still lives in Puerto Rico. His niece's mother is a special needs teacher who is helping those on the island rebuild.
Torres knew it would be a tough transition, but so far Santiago is doing great.
"We brought her to the school. After that day, she was like, 'Oh it's great. I like the school and I've made friends already,'" said Torres.
And for Santiago, she wants all those, including her mother, still on this island to know that she misses them.
"I want to see them and I know you're going to be alright," she said.
Sophia said after she graduates from high school, she would like to join the Air Force.
Her family is safe, but like much of the island, there is still a long road ahead as the rebuilding continues.