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to help you.”

Reyes referred Esperanza to a local school offering classes in bak- ing and helped her register. When Esperanza became discouraged, Reyes encouraged her to continue

“Luz pushed me to go to the classes,” Esperanza admitted. “She would tell me how I needed to go. She told me, ‘You have a dream, now you have a way to achieve that dream.’ She has been a big support to me because she has been here during the good and the bad and continues to push me and give me advice.” Esperanza loves attending her bakery classes. Her eyes sparkle and she grins from ear to ear as she quickly lists the items she has learned to make. Cakes and cookies are her favorite things to bake and her family’s favorite things to eat. Esperanza and her family partner with the Hope Center through case management where they work with Reyes, their case manager, to define goals and create a developmental plan to transform their lives and empower them to provide for their futures. Though they haven’t been in case management very long, Reyes already sees great improvement in their lifestyle and attitude for the future. “They have understood the vision and have taken steps to work on

this journey,” Reyes said. “I do not have this burden of constantly look- ing over their shoulders. No, they are working hard to improve. In a small period of time, I have seen big growth in them.” Alberto has noticed the change too, especially in Esperanza. “The program at Buckner has opened her eyes to see something she couldn’t see before,” he said. “I am thankful for that pushing and support. It has been a big help. Because we have eight kids, it’s not easy to provide for them and the house, but we are blessed from the Lord and am thankful for the help Buckner has provided.” Now Esperanza is not afraid to dream big. When her classes are finished, she plans to open her own home bakery, baking treats for the local stores to sell. To help achieve that dream, Alberto and Esperanza are building a new home on a plot of land behind their current one. It’s a slow process. Instead of sheets of metal, the home is being constructed with sturdy bricks, and they are building it themselves. All the boys help in the construction of their new home. Each brick is bought as they have the funds to purchase them. Also in the plans is a bigger kitchen for Esperanza to conduct her baking business. “Almost two years ago, Buckner opened their doors to me,” Esperanza said. “Without knowing me, they gave me an opportunity. How I view the world and how I view myself is very different now. I am so thankful.”

Dreams are far from impossible and brick by brick, Esperanza and Alberto are proving that. n

FALL 2015 ISSUE • Buckner Today 51

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