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Learning Center Highlight: The American Dream

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Lucia came to the United States when she was 13 years old along with her younger siblings. They were undocumented immigrants at the time, which was an immense obstacle in her life and ability to freely succeed in her aspirations. She did her best to live a normal life while taking care of her siblings.

Lucia married and had two kids but remained undocumented, leading to a constant battle with depression. In 2009, she began attending Park Villas on-site Family Learning Center and while bringing her kids to utilize the after school program she started attending workshops about Coping with Stress, Heart Disease, Mental Health and Healthy Living. She later started volunteering not only at the Learning Center helping with anything she could and participating in all the activities, but also volunteering her free time with the community organizations she was exposed to after attending the workshops.

Soon after, Lucia attended a workshop educating residents about a new Immigration Law targeting those who came to the United States as a child and finished High School with a clean criminal record. The law would grant permission to remain in the country temporarily and obtain a work permit. Realizing she was the perfect candidate for it, she enthusiastically gathered her documents and after applying was granted the work permit.

Lucia realized her dream of being legal and was now able to work! She was immediately hired by Family Health Centers of San Diego as a Health Advocate performing Community Outreach in various sites, including her very own community.

“The information I obtained at Park Villas Learning Center was in part the key to my success,” says Lucia, “it has helped me and my family in many ways, from networking with various community organizations, to providing my kids with educational and recreational activities. I am grateful for all the extra help with donations, Christmas gifts, and especially for the moral support in times of struggle.”

Lucia is a great example and role model to follow in our communities. She is often reminded of that and says that it gives her fuel to continue to do great things while helping others to be successful at reaching their goals.

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