Family First and Forever

Vito & Laura Fortuna Santana
Hatillo, PR
Former Occupation: Student and Dancer

Vito Fortuna Santana grew up with his grandparents in a crowded, love-filled home in rural Puerto Rico. “We slept five people to a room,” he remembers. “My grandfather was a school director where I attended elementary through high school, and my grandmother was a domestic engineer. Money was tight as it was for most folks then.” Vito dreamed of a bright and prosperous future for himself and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Laura.


To reach his goals, Vito attended college Mondays through Fridays studying finance, worked in his family’s fast-food restaurant on Saturdays, and spent his summers working a paid internship far from home. “I was hustling,” recalls Vito. “Instead of taking 16 credits like the other students, I took 21 credits each semester. That way, I could spend summers working in New York, where my father lived. His brother-in-law worked as a CFO, and he landed me an internship with his company.”


Every summer – two months and $2,000 later – Vito would return to Puerto Rico feeling on top of the world. “I was able to be a big spender and buy everyone’s lunch at school, but before I knew it,” he laughs, “I was poor again!” After his summer earnings were gone, Vito scraped by with just $40 per week from working at the family’s fast-food restaurant. One day, while on the job, someone approached him about Primerica. “They told me I could have an opportunity to be a professional,” Vito smiles. “When I heard I could earn more than $40 per week and dress nicely, I was ready to join!”1


But Vito had a problem, and it was a big one. He didn’t have the money he needed for his Independent Business Application fee and his license to sell insurance. “Grandpa, it’s not a job, but it’s a big opportunity for me,” Vito exclaimed. “Would you be able to help me?” Vito’s grandfather, Rafael, was intrigued by Vito’s excitement and the promise the Primerica Representative saw in his grandson. “I hadn’t really given my grandpa any reason to believe in me or invest in my future,” Vito reflects. “I wasn’t the perfect kid. Remember, my grandfather was the director of my school. He knew everything! He would be taking a chance on me if he gave me the money.”2, 3

A Leap of Faith
Rafael gave Vito the money even though it was a hefty sum for him. “If my grandpa hadn’t given me the money, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Vito shares with great emotion. “He taught me to be a great man in so many ways. He didn’t have to put faith in me, but he did.”


Vito earned $350 after a few short months in business and soon quit his fast-food job to focus on his Primerica career. “Even though I had virtually no market, I fell in love with the Company, and I gave it my all,” he says. Over the years, Vito continued to put time and energy into building his Primerica business, and he and his wife Laura, now a professional dancer, married and had children.


“If Laura didn’t support me, I wouldn’t be successful,” he says. “She sacrificed a lot of time we could have spent together as a young couple. Today Laura gets to pursue her passion at her own dance studio. It’s amazing to see her live her dream, while she also invests so much in me and our boys, Vito, Diego and Mauro.”

Paying It Forward
Indeed, family is what’s most important to Vito and Laura. “We get to attend all of our boys’ activities and games,” he says proudly. “We celebrate all of our victories as a family. It’s very humbling to think of my grandfather and the gift he gave us by making a way for me to pursue this opportunity. The values he instilled in me as a young man are the ones I teach my boys today.”


Vito was happy to report that Rafael was able to see his investment pay off as he watched the young family build a happy life and business together. Vito and Laura hosted a 60th wedding anniversary party for his grandparents, recalling their story of how there was no money for a wedding reception when they first married. “This was something we could give him in return,” smiles Vito. “We build our business around our family.”

  1. From January 1 through December 31, 2022, Primerica paid cash flow to its North American sales force at an average of $7,479, which includes commissions paid on all lines of business to life licensed representatives. Figures include U.S. and Canadian dollars remaining in the local currency earned by the representative, not adjusted for exchange rates.
  2. New representatives affiliating with Primerica must complete the Independent Business Application (IBA) and pay a one-time fee of $99 in the U.S. or $103.95 (includes applicable taxes) in Canada.
  3. Representatives must obtain all appropriate licenses and appointments prior to making a sale or receiving a commission.