(Undated) -- The mass migration of Central American children has made headlines, sparked debate and ignited a political firestorm in recent weeks, but one midwestern woman hopes her experience can shine some light on why this is happening and what can be done to help. Kenia Calderon made the journey from El Salvador to the United States 9 years ago, when she was just 11. She says her native country was on a downward spiral of economic despair and crime. She recalls witnessing neighborhood children being beaten, kidnapped and even murdered as rival gangs took over. Calderon received a work permit under an Obama administration program created in 2012 called "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" and currently works as an administrative assistant for the American Friends Service Committee while attending Drake University in Iowa.