“SERniña taught me that every girl has a brave voice, and that we can be positive despite many criticisms and problems.” - Aracely
Even though this attitude towards girls is common where Aracely lives, she was still devastated at the idea of dropping out of school. However, she had seen this happen around her for her entire life. The traditions that come alongside gender roles run deep in her village. Girls and women’s abilities to thrive are quashed by dominant machismo perspectives. Why would things be any different for her? Aracely’s dreams of continuing her education began to fade, and she prepared herself to leave school.
Until one day, as part of their class curriculum, Aracely took part in a SERniña workshop. For the first time in her life, she was hearing messages of female motivation and empowerment. She was learning that she had the ability to change her life on her own, and began to learn skills such as budgeting, and goal-setting to make a future more attainable. Aracely found the sexual and reproductive health workshops especially helpful because:
“We do not get the information anywhere else. I did not understand anything before and was confused. This module is really important because many girls are having sex and do not know if they will get pregnant or not, get an STI or that many contraceptive methods do not protect you 100%. Family Planning is a hard topic because so many young boys and girls are getting pregnant but they do not understand the consequences - they will not be able to complete their studies, nor manage their finances. But, with SERniña I believe less girls will become pregnant.” - Aracely
Initially, Aracely was too shy to even share her name in class. Like many young women in her situation, she struggled to find the voice she had been given. After several workshops, she began to discover that her voice was loud, intelligent and full of ideas. Before long, she had gained valuable public speaking and idea sharing skills, as well as built the confidence in herself, her ideas, and her contributions and she began to share her opinions with others.
Aracely is now working as a SERniña intern once a week earning enough money to save for continued education. Furthermore, she continues to build her leadership skills, as an Apprentice Facilitator with one of Maricela’s groups, and as a participant of the SERlideresa workshop.
With SERniña’s support, Aracely has already opened a bank account to save her earnings for next year as she hopes to go to trades school.
“Thank you SERniña! My life has changed so much. Before the program I was shy and quite careless, but am improving every second. Now I am not careless and I know to use my brave voice, and I am being positive so I can accomplish all that I have planned for the future" -Aracely
Bring the life-changing workshops of SERniña to over 600 youth over the next two years!