Ana, a first-time mother living in Lorain, is originally from Puerto Rico where she grew up in a poor neighborhood. After her mother died, Ana made the big move to the United States in 2007 with her father and siblings to pursue a better life for herself. Unfortunately, moving to the United States was not an easy feat for her. Despite having a bachelor’s degree and previous professional experience, Ana had a massive language barrier that kept her from utilizing her expertise, so she worked manual labor jobs to provide for her family while she got on her feet. Ana began to feel as though she was a burden. She wasn’t using her degree and she didn’t know where to go to get help or how to learn English.
Compounding her stresses, Ana’s father passed away. Just as she felt she had hit rock bottom, Ana met the man of her dreams and fell in love, and the couple eventually started a family. But as a first-time mother who was still struggling to find her place in the U.S., Ana struggled with her confidence and worried about potential developmental delays for Analia. She didn’t know exactly what milestones Analia should be hitting by certain ages. Ana blamed herself for Analia’s potential set-backs.
After Analia was born, Ana got involved with Help Me Grow- Home Visiting through Neighborhood Alliance. There she learned about Rising Titans, one of the 11 Community Collaboratives powered by United Way of Greater Lorain County that is focused on kindergarten readiness in Lorain.
Through the Rising Titans Community Collaborative, Ana got involved in a playgroup twice a month at the local libraries. The collaborative designed the playgroups for children who are not in pre-school or an early childhood center. Not only has this playgroup helped with Analia’s development, but it has helped Ana become more confident in her own parenting skills.
Now, Ana is taking English classes twice a week at El Centro, where her bi-lingual Help Me Grow coordinator referred her. She is actively improving her literacy skills in both reading and writing and is one step closer to landing a job back in her career field.
Ana is very proud of how far she’s come as an individual, wife, mother, and homeowner. Because of your support, Rising Titans was able to provide Ana with resources that have given her confidence in her parenting, a path to a new career, and hope for her daughter’s future. Together, we were able to let Ana know that she has people who care about her success and are fighting for her and her family. We hope you'll join us as we continue to provide support for Ana and other kids like him across Greater Lorain County.