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From Mujer Avanzando to success: Sandy's experience
by Alex Morales
Published: April 7, 2011
Sandy Guzman has been able to achieve her goals and, at 28 years old she continues pursuing life improving opportunities thanks to the Mujer Avanzando program. Her difficulties started when she became a mother at the early age of 18, as she was still in her junior year of high school living with her parents. After her first child was born she continued going to school but it was difficult to manage her time between school, being a mother, being in a romantic relationship and also maintaining a part time job as a bookstore cashier. Her days will start early, as she would take her son to daycare then go to school, pick him up, drop him off at her parents place and then going to work until 9pm, with very little time to spend with her kids and her partner. A year after having her first child, she became pregnant with a second child, moved in with her partner to raise the kids but due to her responsibilities her relationship started deteriorate. This unstable situation led to other more serious problems ultimately escalating into domestic violence.
However, Sandy, as the strong woman she considers herself to be persevered and endured being mistreated while continuing in this situation. 4 years after she had her last child, her relationship has turned worse with her partner leaving and returning pretty often, causing her more distress. It is also around this time that Sandy gave birth for the 3rd time. It was then that she decided to stand for herself and look for opportunities to break away from all this negativity and one day, as she walked down 18th street she found a way.
A flyer at the Rudy Lozano library announcing Mujer Avanzando caught her attention, specifically the free daycare offer. She was working to pay for a place to live and for daycare, and all this was very expensive with a part time bookstore cashier pay. She called the number, but due to the popularity of the Mujer Avanzando program, she had to wait for a year to be able to join. She didn’t let this long wait curb her enthusiasm, and was promptly enrolled by Irene Ochoa after a year went by.
Quickly after joining Sandy took advantage of the classes the program had to offer. With Mujer Avanzado she learned about computers and how to use Microsoft Office products such as Excel and Powerpoint, skills she nowadays considers important as they were able to increase her earning potential. From the finance classes, she learned how to save money and also how to create a budget. And from the Leadership courses she learned that she has the power to manage her time wisely, productively and achieve the goals she has established for herself and her family.
Her hard work paid off, Sandy not only completed and graduated from Mujer Avanzando program last February 2011, but her talents, overcoming and disposition earned her a job with us at TRP as our receptionist. As she answers every call with a friendly upbeat voice, she is planning for a bright future in which she hopes to be more involved helping women achieve their maximum potential. She contemplates becoming a domestic violence victim advocate and plans to seek opportunities that would lead her there with Mujeres Latinas en Accion. She is also saving money for a down payment to buy a home for her and 10, 9 and 4 year old kids.
“If I can positively impact a struggling woman life by sharing my story, I would share my experience with Mujer Avanzado, encourage her to pursue and achieve her goals, just like I am doing. I overcame, became stronger and now I feel I can accomplish anything. ”
To learn more about Mujer Avanzando contact Irene Ochoa or Lupe Raymundo at (773) 890-0055.