Elena, Manos Student

Elena is one of the many parents who brought their children to Manos’ Back- to-School program to prepare them for school. Currently employed at a restaurant, her goal is to use her Certificated Nursing Assistant (CNA) qualifications to work in a nursing home in order to better support her family, and she is using the services that Manos provides to help her reach that goal.


Elena first discovered Manos through its Dental Center. As a mother of five, and without dental insurance from her current employer, Elena needs the low-cost oral healthcare that Manos provides. One visit, she picked up a pamphlet and discovered the world of classes that Manos offers.


She began taking computer classes and has found those skills essential at work and at home. “What programs is my child looking at?” Elena asks, as many concerned parents do. After studying with Manos in computer classes, she’s learning at the same rate as her children. Elena laughs as she shares stories about surprising her children with her ever-growing knowledge.


Elena is now taking English classes at Manos. Trained as CNA, she wants to be able to communicate above the basic level of English with the people she would care for. “I want to learn English. I know the basics, but I want to learn more.”


Without Manos, Elena admits that she doesn’t know where she would go, that she would have to find a substitute provider for healthcare, education, and school supplies for her children. So many mothers and fathers that come to Manos tell this same story. They push themselves to provide for their family, but they still fall short without outside help. When asked about her experience at Manos, Elena said, “I want to involve myself more here, I always want to come.”


(clients’ names are changed to protect their privacy)