Juanita’s Story: Finding the Path to Success

Juanita was addicted to alcohol and drugs and in an abusive relationship that was harmful to her and her two children. She was desperate to get her life back on track and be the best parent she could to her two children. When Juanita first came to the Prevention Center, she wasn’t sure what to expect — she felt scared and alone and she knew that she needed help.

“The Prevention Center staff greeted me and guided me to the playroom where smiling faces welcomed me and my children. As my children played, I was introduced to a counselor who helped me understand what services the Prevention Center had to offer me: parenting classes, anger management, the single parent network, Narcotics Anonymous, family therapy, individual therapy, and a place just to have a space. For the first time in a long time, I felt safe and not alone as a parent,” Juanita noted.

As Juanita started to use the Prevention Center’s services, she became more proactive and started to implement the skills she was learning into her everyday life. She became an activist for herself, her children, and for the community. Juanita noticed that her children’s confidence and self-esteem were improving right along with her own.

Juanita’s teenage sons are both on the honor roll and are already thinking about college. The boys still feel connected to the people at the Prevention Center and regularly visit to help out in the Playroom.

They think of the Prevention Center as a second home and take pride in being able to give back to the place that helped them become the young men they are today.

Juanita’s younger children, an 8-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter, have both had the Prevention Center in their lives from day one. In 20018, Juanita joined the Prevention Center’s Parental Advisory Committee to give back.

In 2009, Juanita graduated from City College of San Francisco’s Community Health Worker Program. She attributes much of her success to the help that she has received from the Prevention Center.

These four children that I’ve been blessed with are on a path to a bright future that wouldn’t have been possible without the Prevention Center. It helped me break the cycle of violence. The Prevention Center showed me a new way of life.

“I feel that my struggles have enabled me to bring a different point of view on ways to help and empower those who are in the same position I was in not too long ago,” said Juanita.