Each month, a client at SFBFS is featured for success and growth. This month’s client spotligst is:
Christina Bordenave - May 2013
Using the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program to get by, Christina received a referral to the Parent Education program (then known as the Mother-Baby program) at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS). With extremely limited resources, Christina visited the program for four months in 2000 until Luke's second birthday, when, as dictated by the program's previous regulations, she was no longer eligible for services. Settled for the time being, Christina would make do on her own for the next few years.
Fast forward to 2012. Christina is married, doing well financially, and is experiencing life again with a new born baby. Suddenly, Christina was laid off from her job of 12 years, forcing her to stretch her savings further and further each week.
Although Christina was out of work, her husband was still able to maintain a job. However, due to the amount of his monthly wages, they found they could not qualify for food stamps and other resources which would help them make ends meet. Faced with a mortgage payment every month, providing for her Luke and newborn son MJ, they found that one income simply would not cover their expenses. Remembering her experience at SFBFS, Christina looked into the organization's Web site to see if the service was still offered.
Pleasantly surprised, Christina discovered that much had changed since she had visited the program in 2000. Not only was she able to utilize Parent Education services until MJ would be five years old, but she also found that SFBFS had opened a second facility in North Sacramento, which also offered the program much closer to her home.
"Parent Education has really helped my family out," Christina said. "It's so hard to budget because we can't qualify for the State programs. And I would say this helps us more because we're able to get so many things that those programs can't provide us with anyway."
Looking at the up side of things, Christina used her time in between job opportunities to be with her children and utilize as many resources offered by Parent Education as she could. Along the way, Christina also used her time to assist staff in the program.
"Every week, Christina attends classes, shops at our Baby Boutique, participates in our family mentor service and networks with many of the other parents in the program," said Mireya Estrella, Parent Education Program Manager. "Christina is uplifting, friendly and an all around positive example to others. She acts as a parent leader, helping to prepare snacks, assisting the class facilitators, helping clean up, and she's even led several of our arts and crafts classes."
"When I first started coming to Parent Education and met Mireya, I was a little intimidated because she seemed very strict," admitted Christina. "After getting to know her, I love her! She is so knowledgeable, has such a positive outlook and can always bring me back up when I'm frustrated. Her firm attitude is a blessing as it helps keep everyone on track."
In addition to contributing time to her children and the Parent Education program, Christina has also been successful in finding a new job. Recently, Christina landed a position with Esurance working in the sales department of their call center. Relieved to go back to work, Christina began her new job on March 4 of this year.
Though she enjoys learning from Mireya and utilizing the resources in Parent Education, Christina is hoping to achieve another goal: returning as a volunteer in the Parent Education program.
"Once everything with my job is going well, I really want to come back as a volunteer," said Christina. "I feel like I've been given a lot of help and you can't forget to give back."
"Parent Education empowered Christina, helped her realize her goals and, provided her with tools to leverage her expenses month to month," Mireya explained. "Christina has always expressed a desire to one day discontinue our services in hopes of returning later as a volunteer so she can give back to other moms what she's learned. She will be missed by staff, volunteers and clients alike, but we are so proud of her."
In the future, Christina hopes to one day return to school to pursue a career in the field of social work in order to help teenage mothers finding themselves in the situation she was once in.
"My ultimate dream job is social work," Christina admitted. "I was a teen mom once and I really want to be able to help other teen moms. I want to support them and let them know that you don't have to be where all of the statistics tell you that you're going to end up."
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