“Everything happens for a reason, that is what I always say. I wouldn’t be here right now or have anything if it wasn’t for my past. I believe that everything was aligned perfectly to make me who I am.”

This quote perfectly encapsulates Sharefest Student Maya and how she sees life. This incredibly brave young lady brings resilience and commitment to everything she does–whether that is stepping up in front of a room of professionals to deliver a prepared speech, or lovingly raising her baby boy.

Sharefest is honored to work with Maya and create a space for her to tell her story.

Sharefest Alumni Maya Cisneros

“My name is Maya Cisneros and I am an 18-year-old mom. Since becoming a mom life has been great; it really opened my eyes to the world. I currently attend Harbor Occupational Center and am hoping to graduate in May 2024.

Growing up I had a pretty hard life; my parents argued a lot and some nights we would have to sleep at our grandma’s house. Having a home like that made me look forward to school, but at school I would get picked on. Middle school is where I lost hope in myself. I got into 3 altercations with one girl in a span of 2 years. Then my 8th grade year her friends jumped me and I got suspended. Entering my freshman year the world was in quarantine. I didn’t attend my online classes, instead I was helping my little sisters with their work. I got really behind so when I moved to San Pedro High School for 10th grade I wasn’t on the same level as other kids. My counselor told me about Angel’s Gate High School and I loved the idea of it. There at Angel’s Gate I met Ms. Phonnyta. Ms. Phonnyta was there to support me when my sister was battling cancer. She was also there for me when I started lacking in school. Ms. Phonnyta would always motivate myself and others to do better for ourselves in life.

Since the day I started working with Sharefest I regained hope in myself. With them guiding me I was able to accomplish many things. Sharefest helped me make a resume and a cover letter. They also helped me search for jobs in the area. I also got the opportunity to be in their summer internship program where I met and connected with new people from different schools. During the program they taught us about credit building and networking. Sharefest got me business attire free of charge. They also helped me get out of my comfort zone by doing mock interviews.

My dream is to work in the medical field or the teaching field. At first I wanted to become a nurse but since becoming a mom I’ve been considering becoming a teacher. Working with my mentors at Sharefest opened my eyes to how wonderful it could be teaching others. I want to help others and direct them in the right path the same way Sharefest did for me.”

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Thanks to our Youth Leadership Academy Partners!
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