As her four young sons fidget beside her, Leticia Rivera reflects on what it’s like to be a parent while also being an active volunteer in several KidWorks’ programs.
“It’s a process—sometimes difficult and overwhelming—to be a mom,” she says. “It can also be very difficult on a street like Townsend, where we live. You avoid the gunshots and gangs. You know that your sons can be vulnerable, so you keep them very involved in positive ways.”
For Leticia, KidWorks has been one of those positive influences. And it goes both ways, says Sonia Rios-Guzman, our Parent Engagement Coordinator.
“Leticia is humble, kind and hard-working,” Sonia says. “She comes to every meeting of our Parent Advisory Council and Group of Moms, and she’s never missed a single KidWorks parents workshop. She always wants to better herself.”
All of Leticia’s sons are involved in our programs, including Jose, fifth grade; Angel, second grade; Carlos, first grade and Francisco, kindergarten.
“I’ve always like giving,” Leticia says. “It’s easy to want to help when I see a need. How can I expect KidWorks to give to me and my family and then not give back?”
And give back she does!
“For our Myrtle and Townsend Street Resource Fairs, Leticia went door-to-door helping to gather neighborhood signatures giving the city permission to close the streets for the event,” Sonia says. “No one gathered more signatures than her!”
Leticia is also quite skilled in arts and crafts. She’s helped make accessories for our graduating students to wear along with their caps and gowns, and even taught mothers how to sew or knit dresses, scarves and hats to add to their personal wardrobe, using the sewing machines available at KidWorks.
Her son Jose is clearly proud of his mom. “When I see her volunteer at KidWorks, it makes me want to help others,” he says. Jose is a role model in his own right for his younger brothers as he volunteers assisting our teachers for the after school programs attended by kindergarten, first, and second grade students.
Leticia has also gotten her husband, Francisco, to join our Parent Advisory Council. Of the 18 members, only two are men, and we hope he will inspire other fathers to join.
“Leticia always goes far beyond what is asked of her,” Sonia says. “It’s no wonder her four boys—and all of us at KidWorks—look up to her!”
By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer