“Me gusta hacer todo,” Molina says. I like to do everything. The mother of three earned the Thriving Neighbors Leadership of Excellence award for her involvement and dedication. The past two years she has led the iPad Tutoring Program, a mothers discussion group, and a lunchtime craft program for girls. She also treats Thriving Neighbors student assistants from SCU like family. “People that I know here, building relationships with them has been beautiful,” she says.
Escamilla and Monroy run the Camino a la Salud health program which offers Zumba, yoga, and walking group activities. Monroy teaches Zumba four days a week. Escamilla, a mother of four whose 8-year-old daughter attends Washington Elementary, says the walks remind her of the four-day pilgrimages she made in her hometown of Jalisco, Mexico. Escamilla is also president of the school’s reading club and collaborates with students in Professor Lucia Varona’s Spanish classes. And this spring, Erika Francks ’17 led yoga twice a week through their half twists and downward dogs. “It’s about knowing each other but also about them getting to know the community,” Escamilla explains.
Over the summer, Socorro Madrigal continued work on a local air-quality project with TNI. And she took a class taught by Thelma Valadez ’17, a Jean Donovan fellow, on The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros. Valadez, who emigrated from Mexico to California in high school, guided mothers through the novel and had them write their own stories. Her goal: “I want them to be the authors of their own lives.”