My name is Laura Espinoza. I moved from the Bay Area to Patterson looking for a better and healthier environment to raise my kids and get my career back. I hoped to create a life here similar to the one I once had.

Now when I say, “I already once had,” I mean I thought I had it all; a career I loved, home to call my own and my family well taken care of. In the blink of an eye, my job, then my home and then my rock – my mother figure for years – were all taken from me. I was lost, living paycheck to paycheck, not knowing where I was going to lay my head, let alone my kids’ heads.

In 2015, I went to Center for Human Services (CHS) Patterson Workforce Development office – not because I wanted to, but because I needed the assistance. My mind was still all over the place. I can honestly say, “I lost it!” My motivation and my bubbly personality turned into misery and negativity towards myself and my family. So I left the program.

I got the phone calls of concern and home visits from CHS, but I just did not care. I told myself, “It’s a small town. What can I possibly make of myself here?” Then one day I got out of bed and forced myself to go back to CHS’ Workforce Development.

The first week was really tough. I had the pity-party and water works – and some not so pleasant words to say.

My Employment Specialist listened to it all and said, “You are NOT your situation!” And she was right. She helped me by giving me the tools to find acceptance with my situation. She taught me how I can get back to where I want to be and more.

CHS and Workforce Development are awesome, amazing and supportive. They have helped me get my motivation and passion for life back.

In July of 2017, I was hired to work at the Patterson Workforce Development office as a Program Assistant.  I am the face the participants first see. It gives me great gratification knowing that I can use my story and knowledge I have gained at CHS to impact someone else’s life.

If you were to ask me how I’m doing today, my answer would be, “Amazing and full of life. I love going to work, coming home with a smile on my face, and ready for what the Universe has in store for me.”

Thank you, Center for Human Services family. I look forward to continue growing with you all through the years to come.

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By Laura Espinoza
Patterson Workforce Development
Program Specialist

Center for Human Services