My name is Gabriela, I’m 15 years old. I am currently in the ninth grade at Centro Escolar Marcelino García Flamenco. I’m also in the Girls Club. This club and the school coordinator have provided a lot of support for me during the hardest of times.
Four years ago, my father was taken to jail. When this happened, I got depressed. My grades started to plummet — my father was everything to me. Soon after, we started to have financial problems at home. My older sister and I started selling candy in order to have a small income.My mom was working cleaning houses, and shortly after my dad left,
she lost her job. Everything was spiraling downward, including my self-esteem. I felt everybody was judging me for my father’s mistakes.
It was at that time that I decided to enroll in the clubs. ‘I have to get by,’ I thought. ‘I have the opportunity to enjoy life and focus my thoughts on something else.’ I signed up for the Girls Club and my perspective began to change. I will never forget the topic I liked to learn about the most — it was to value myself. At that time, this helped me so much. It
was a way of realizing that I was more than my family problems — I had to value myself and I had to keep fighting to create my own life.
Today. I feel better. Although my dad is still in jail, I know everything will be fine. I have already started to improve my grades and I now have an average of 8 or 9 out of 10. The club has helped me a lot in the whole process. It’s been a faithful friend who has been there to help me breathe through the whole problem and not to judge me.