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“I was just working in the house and helping my family,” Esperanza said. “That was my life. I didn’t have any perspective, or even the idea there could be something bigger for me.”


That changed two years ago after meeting Luz Reyes, a case


manager for the Buckner Family Hope Center at Eduardo Brito. Reyes and Esperanza fi rst met while attending the same church in town and began to form a friendship. At that time, Esperanza’s oldest son was 15 and her youngest was 2. Reyes encouraged Esperanza to enroll her children into educational classes offered at the Hope Center. The more the children attended, the more Esperanza could see them improving in their studies and their relationships with others. The children’s education is now a top priority. “The most important thing is the education for the kids,” said


Alberto Amaro, Esperanza’s husband. “We have this vision that our children can have what we couldn’t. Maybe we couldn’t go to


school, but our children can.” Their two oldest sons are almost fi nished with school and have plans to attend a trade school fi rst and then attend a university. Espe- ranza and Alberto are seeing ambitions in their children they never had when they were that age. Esperanza soon learned, however, it wasn’t too late for her to at- tend school either. She also started taking classes at the Hope Center. She learned how to make crafts and bracelets, items she could sell to help supplement the income Alberto made as a valet for the mall. Through it all, Reyes motivated Esperanza and her family to plan for the future and continue their education. Encouraged by Reyes’ support, Esperanza shared with Reyes the dream she stifl ed as a child. “Do you still want to be a baker?” Reyes asked Esperanza. “Yes,” Esperanza answered. “But I don’t know if it is possible.” “It is possible,” Reyes exclaimed. “You can do it, and we’re going


The Family Hope Center has inspired Esperanza Cruz and her family to reach high for their goals. Slowly, they are building a new home made from study brick with plans for a large kitchen so Esperanza can open a home bakery after she has fi nished her classes.


50 Buckner Today • FALL 2015 ISSUE


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