Stories that Inspire.
Victories to Celebrate.
Quinceañera honors special resident on her 15th birthday
A quinceañera is considered a rite of passage for some Hispanic families and as Amber’s 15th birthday was approaching I asked her if she had a wish for that day. She stated that she would love to have a quinceañera, but that she knew that couldn’t happen given their situation.
Her family has experienced homeless-ness for the majority of her life. They have lived from shelter to shelter as her single mother of five has attempted to maneuver through the different challenges that they have faced.
The Mission’s staff banded together to plan her birthday celebration. I met with Amber and her mom to gather ideas of the vision she had for her special day. Once the theme and color scheme were in place, the rest was a breeze due to everyone’s heart toward Amber. When I reached out to families and our supporters in the community, I was met with enthusiasm, willingness and joy to be a part of Amber’s special day. Guests cooked the meal and decorated the cake. Vendors lent tables, chairs, lights and a photo booth. Others donated Amber’s shoes, crown and Bible, and gave their time with photos and makeup and set up.
Amber has remained very resilient through all the challenges she has experienced. She has managed to remain an A student and is an avid reader. She has expressed desire to create a better future for herself. While she can be a little shy, Amber is always kind, courteous, and respectful toward her peers, staff, and other guests.
This quinceañera was well deserved. Amber’s mom shared that they have never had a party before, and they were grateful that we helped make her daughter’s wish come true.
–Yadira Mena, Amber’s Case Manager
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