Jim Tuttle, Residential Real Estate Director at Price Hill Will and Alejandro (Courtesy of Price Hill Will)

In the heart of Price Hill, Alejandro’s journey is a tale of resilience, determination, and the incredible power of community support that shines brightly in the lives of immigrants forging a new path in America.

Originally from Guatemala, Alejandro embarked on his American adventure in 2003, followed by his wife, Trina, a year later. Their shared dream was to find better opportunities and create a brighter future for their family.

The early years in the United States were filled with challenges typical of many immigrant families – language barriers, cultural adjustments, and the quest for self-sufficiency in a new country. Despite these hurdles, Alejandro and Trina were determined to build a better life.

In 2005, the arrival of their first child, Joaquin, brought new responsibilities and challenges. It was during this time that Alejandro discovered Santa Maria Community Services through a friend, marking a pivotal turning point for his family. He seized the opportunity to build a stable foundation for his family’s future by accessing benefits for his son and participating in Santa Maria’s programs.

The Every Child Succeeds (ECS) program, with its focus on home visitation services, developmental screenings, and parenting education, provided invaluable support to Alejandro’s family. These personalized visits not only enhanced parenting skills but also fostered positive family relationships.

When Joaquin completed the ECS program at age 3, Alejandro and Trina immediately enrolled him in Santa Maria’s Promoting Our Preschoolers (POP) program. POP helped prepare Joaquin for academic success through engaging activities and supportive interactions. Both early childhood development programs created a loving and supportive atmosphere where Joaquin could blossom, laying the groundwork for a lifetime of growth and achievement.

With his son on a path to academic excellence, Alejandro embraced the path of self-improvement and financial stability by enrolling in Santa Maria’s Workforce Development program. English as a Second Language classes, financial coaching, and High School Equivalency (HSE) preparatory courses became stepping stones toward his aspirations of owning a home.

Last year, Alejandro joined Santa Maria’s Stable Families program, where he received crucial assistance in opening a bank account with his Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Stable Families also facilitated his connection to local universities and resources, including Northern Kentucky University’s Latinos Avanzando Mentorship Program (LAMP), guiding him through the enrollment process and scholarship applications for Joaquin, who is graduating from high school this May.

Francesca Phillis, Stable Families Coordinator at Santa Maria, fondly recalls Alejandro’s journey and praises his determination and progress. “Alejandro is a real go-getter and has a clear vision of what he wants for himself and his family,” she remarked. His family received essential support and achieved financial stability, taking significant steps toward homeownership.

Andrea Walker, Homestead Financial Coach at Santa Maria, referred Alejandro to our partner organization Price Hill Will’s Homesteading Program. She witnessed Alejandro’s focused saving and meticulous planning, stating, “He is very determined and disciplined when it comes to saving money and planning for his family’s future.” His hard work culminated in the recent signing of a land contract for his very first home right here in Price Hill! Santa Maria even helped furnish Alejandro’s new home through our New Life Furniture Bank partnership.

Alejandro’s story shows the difference community support and personal determination can make. From overcoming language barriers to achieving homeownership, his story embodies the immigrant spirit and underscores the role of organizations like Santa Maria in empowering families to thrive in their new homeland.

Alejandro expresses deep gratitude for the opportunities provided by Santa Maria and the continued support of our dedicated team. With Joaquin on the brink of pursuing higher education, Alejandro’s dreams for his family’s future are becoming a reality.

Francesca added, “I hope to see the family continue to prosper, and I would love to see his son go to college to pursue his art degree and get scholarships to support his academic dreams. This would be a pivotal moment for the entire family!”

Alejandro’s journey is a story of personal triumph and a testament to the collective effort of a caring community committed to fostering hope, resilience, and opportunity for all. Your contribution to Santa Maria Community Services ensures that more stories like Alejandro’s can be written – tales of resilience, hope, and empowerment. Join us in building dreams and fostering brighter futures for individuals and families in need. Together, we can make a lasting impact and create a community where everyone thrives.