*based on an interview conducted by Karina Grajales
Juana received a flyer for the Resilient Families program when her son was only 3 months old. As a first time mother, Juana was scared and worried about how to be “la mejor mamá,” the best mom for her new son.
Today, her son is three years old, and she has a second son on the way. Currently, Juana has not only completed the program herself, but she has also stayed on to help teach classes to other parents in her community. At Resilient Families, we call this community leader a "Promotora." Juana now has the confidence to not only be “la mejor mamá,” the best mom, but to also support other mothers in their parenting journeys.
What makes this an exceptional family-strengthening program?
Juana herself shared that through the six free classes offered, she learned how to reduce her stress levels, implement new parenting strategies, and cope with difficult moments. This is resiliency.
Juana mentioned how as mothers, we all go through things in life, but that we do not need to place that stress on our children. “Ser mamá no se aprende de la noche a la mañana, y nunca acabamos de aprender,” “you don't learn how to be a mother from one day to the next, and you never stop learning”: this was the sentiment Juana shared when describing the lessons she learned.
The community and the camaraderie is another component that makes Resilient Families special. Juana was able to learn very valuable lessons from the other mothers who shared their own experiences during the classes.
After completing the program, mothers are offered the opportunity to stay involved with Resilient Families as Promotoras, becoming the teachers for the next round of classes offered. At first, Juana was shy and did not have the confidence to seek out the position. However, from the help and encouragement of her Godmother/Madrina (a mother with older children who becomes a mentor for the new mothers who complete the classes), Juana decided to give the leadership position a shot.
“Yo dije, pues, por mi hijo, para que él se beneficie. Al final, yo me doy cuenta que la que necesitaba echarle ganas era yo. Fue como me convertí en Promotora.” “Me ha ayudado a crecer como persona y eso me ha hecho tener mucho más ganas para ayudar a otras personas, porque sé que uno puede lograr realmente las cosas cuando uno se va apoyando entre sí.” Juana explained how today she now understands that becoming a promotora and teaching the classes has benefitted herself more than just her son. Today, she feels empowered to help others because she realizes that when you believe in yourself, you really can achieve all your goals.