Each month, a client at SFBFS is featured for success and growth. This month’s client spotlight is:
Maria Perez - February 2014
13 years ago, new mom Maria Perez was found herself searching for ways to improve her families situation. Her husband worked full time and she held a few temporary jobs, such as selling her homemade tamales and janitorial work at a local school, but they still struggled to make ends meet after moving to California from Sinaloa, Mexico. They heard about a program in their Oak Park neighborhood where they could receive groceries and decided to drive to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) for help.
Upon receiving food, a volunteer told Maria and her husband about SFBFS’ Parent Education program. The Parent Education program is designed to engage expectant families, mothers, fathers, grandparents or guardians with children 0 – 5 years in connecting with their children in an empathetic manner. SFBFS offers relevant courses addressing family and life issues that parents are facing today. The goal is to support mothers and fathers in raising their children to the best of their ability by providing resources, skills and activities that will unite their families through love, compassion, structure, mutual understanding and fun.
Maria decided to sign up for a few parenting classes offered in Spanish. The reward of baby bucks and diapers greatly helped Maria and her family, kept her motivated to attend classes and improved her interactions with both her son and husband.
Excited for a new baby, but in need of support, Maria she reached out to the Parent Education program again in 2013 to register for expectant mother classes. “It’s tough to get help and resources because I cannot read or write, and I don’t speak English,” Maria says.
Maria hopes to one day come back to the Parent Education program as a volunteer to help new parents. She also hopes by participating in the program she can improve her English skills along with reading and writing. “Maria is always a hard worker in class and is very caring to all the new parents,” shares Parent Education Program Manager, Lorena Carranza.
“Last year, we decided to have a holiday party for all the parents in the classes,” Lorena says. “I announced to the class that I would bring some things to celebrate the holidays. Maria immediately stood up and volunteered to help. She organized everything for the party and got all the other parents involved. The party became a fun potluck – and had the best turn out ever!”
We wish Maria and her family the best with their and look forward to her return as a volunteer in the future!
To learn more about Parent Education, check out our Parent Education infographic or visit the Parent Education page.
Click on a link below to read archived Client Spotlights: