What does Para Los Niños mean to us?
A place where I can go and feel safe.
Means family to me.
Motivation – and where people go to help you.
My second home, my family.
A home full of opportunities.
Para Los Niños means hope, motivation, and confidence.
Para Los Niños means that there’s something better, Para Los Niños is a refuge.
Carlos & Concepcion:
Carlos: Five years ago I had an experience and Para Los Niños School was there for us. I work in construction, I was a manager, and then when all the economy went down we practically lost everything.
Concepcion: We were used to, not having everything, but being comfortable. We came to Para Los Niños, they talked to him, they pretty much expressed to him that he wasn’t the only one going through it. They gave him the help that he needed, to make him feel a little bit better about himself, and provide for the family. If it wasn’t for them I don’t think – we wouldn’t even be together right now.
Carlos: Yes, because I know I had plans on walking away from my family. Thanks to Para Los Niños I got enrolled in school, I’m on my third year in plumbing and contracting, and thanks to the help of Para Los Niños I can actually say I’m a better person now. I just want to be next to my family, I’m the biggest support in my family, and I’m here for them. This is my family, we are so happy that we are still together, we’re so happy that we overcame the challenges. And thanks to Para Los Niños we are a big, one happy family.
Josephine & Jennifer:
Josephine: Para Los Niños is everything for my family, honestly, everything. I came from Mexico, when I came here, I saw that this life is not easy because about my language, I only spoke Spanish. I was always thinking first about a school for Jennifer. When I came, from the first time, to Para Los Niños, everyone said hi, good morning, hi, in Spanish right, hey how are you doing? I said oh my gosh, I feel like a family… oh good thank you. Kids really pay attention to the teachers, and the teacher explains like a mom with the children. It’s not only, oh you they’re only students, only children learning. No, they feel something personal with them, they always pay attention to every kid.
Jennifer: Para Los Niños pushed me to be a great student, they helped me succeed academically. They helped me find that confidence in myself and become a better person now that I am high school student.
I was 18 years old when I heard about Para Los Niños, I was just graduating high school and found out that I was pregnant. I had to tell my mom, she was very disappointed when she found out that I was pregnant and could not deal with the situation, so I was asked to leave home. I felt really bad for disappointing somebody very important in my life.
Meeting with Karla from Para Los Niños, she was just able to come into my life and just say, everything is going to be ok. Something in her voice just assured me that it was gonna be ok. She let me be aware of what it is that they were offering. She goes, “I understand that you’re going to Pasadena City College right now, we can help you with, whether it’s a bus pass to get to school, we can help you with paying for tuition.”
It’s just like wow, why would somebody care so much to pay for a class for me? You graduate, you get your certificate, and you go out and look for a job. That would have been the case for me, except another issue came up in my life, where a family member lashed out at me in anger and caused some trauma to my baby, my unborn child. I was hospitalized and put on bedrest for the next two and half months.
Para Los Niños allowed me to continue to be in the program and finish the course work. Having that support of Para Los Niños, it was just really inspiring to me and was a turning point in my life. Para Los Niños has helped me to not just be another statistic but has embraced me to become this confident young lady that can now help others who are in the situation that I faced when I first came to Para Los Niños.