Maritza Gonzalez, Adelante Latina 2009
I came to Nuevo Comienzo during my senior year of high school. It began with two girls, each one recruited by one another. We discussed self-esteem issues, Teenage pregnancy, Peer pressure and most importantly self-acceptance. I developed a close relationship with these ladies and felt that I had a safe space to share my thoughts, ideas and most importantly my emotions. I grew as an individual, changed my life perspectives and became more goals oriented thanks to Nuevo Comienzo. When I was accepted to UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, CSU Fresno, and CSU Monterrey Bay, the first people I had in mind were my friends and mentor at Nuevo Comienzo. Like many of my peers, I believed that I was going to go to Fresno State due to my financial situation and in all honesty, it was a familiar place to be, however, Thanks to Nuevo Comienzo I was able to apply for scholarships, loans, and most importantly learn that I was capable of anything I set my mind to. Feeling encouraged and supported led me to accept and pursue my education at UC Santa Cruz. Throughout those four years in Santa Cruz, I kept in contact with Nuevo Comienzo and made sure to thank them for their support and encouragement. Being away for so long helped me develop as a person and put into practice everything Nuevo Comienzo thought me. Here I am, Four years later with my bachelor in Psychology and working for Nuevo Comienzo. Nuevo Comienzo showed me how to embrace my culture and persona, which led me to realize that my calling was to help others. Nuevo Comienzo shaped the person I am now, a strong advocate for women’s rights, proud of my Latina roots, and determined to help my community. It’s rare when you come across an organization that practices what they preach, not only did they believe in my abilities, but they had their doors open for me four years later.