"Maylan’s beginnings in horseracing were filled with constant challenges and adversity. In Brazil, the jockey profession is not a luxurious career choice; most jockeys become involved in the sport out of financial necessity. Jockey school is a requirement for all prospects, and most schools did not take females. At school, she was subject to sexual harassment and discrimination. She was frequently ignored and passed over for racing opportunities.
During this time, a New York Post writer contacted her, interested in Brazil’s horseracing industry. She used the opportunity to learn more about the United States visa process. She arrived in Miami at age 19 on a tourist visa, which she was able to successfully change to a P-1 (Internationally Recognized Athlete) visa, and began racing.
Here in the U.S., Maylan finally began earning the professional recognition she longed for. She found a mentor in decorated jockey Manuel Cruz, who is also of Brazilian heritage. Racing for Jewish trainers, she recalled the pride she felt representing her Jewish roots on the racetrack." – Hendel LeivaLong Island Wins is a Welcoming America Affiliate. Contributing blogger Hendel Leiva is Long Island Wins’ community organizer, heading the Welcoming Long Island initiative, which is part of the national Welcoming America movement, since 2012. Hendel’s early work began when he became involved with several local community initiatives in his hometown of Brentwood, which included working with the neighborhood collaborative Brentwood Gardens, and serving as the assistant campaign manager for the Brentwood Campaign For Quality Education.