Silvia’s storySilvia started coming to the FamilySource Center when she was in third grade and her mother had enrolled her in tutoring and homework assistance programs. At the time, Silvia’s family of eight was making $9,600 a year — well below the federal poverty line — and neither parents had social security as they are undocumented. Her father had intermittent work and her mother has an autistic sister that she cares for. Silvia’s mother soon enrolled in programs on parent education, healthy lifestyle and civic engagement that would soon help her and her daughters get more involved in the community. One of Silvia’s first projects was a transportation study she helped her mom with. Her mother was leading an effort to see how to improve access to public transportation in the Pico Union community where her family lived. With Silvia’s younger sister in tow, Silvia’s mother spoke to commuters about what was missing in their bus stops. Commuters told her they wanted bus stops that were more comfortable — like living rooms. They wanted benches to sit down on, and benches they got. They also got plants that further beautified the space. Silvia shadowed her mom and learned first hand what it meant to organize her community members into making a difference in their lives. She was inspired to do the same for herself.
In the summer before starting college, Silvia was part of a youth internship program thanks to $2,000 that HCIDLA raised to fund her internship. Silvia ended up working at CCNP for the summer and was able to have an income thanks to the generosity of this youth program. HCIDLA also facilitated a shadowing program where Silvia got to follow staff at the Mayor’s Office as well as HCIDLA including General Manager Rushmore Cervantes himself. Silvia is one of the many beneficiaries that FamilySource Centers help every day. In fact, HCIDLA’s FamilySource Centers together served 44,000 residents in need of social services in fiscal year 2014.Thanks to the Center’s programs, Silvia excelled in school. She graduated with honors in June 2014 and was accepted to the University of Southern California. Today, she is a proud Trojan studying business.