Bertha T.

Never giving up has been Bertha’s motto in life. She has lived in San Francisco for the last five years and has not looked back since leaving her home state of Jalisco, Mexico 10 years ago.

It hasn’t been an easy journey for Bertha—a single mother of two. She came to San Francisco escaping an abusive relationship and didn’t know where to turn when she became homeless with her two children. After securing permanent housing in low-income apartments Bertha shifted her focus to her educational goals.  

Bertha came to Arriba Juntos by referral from the Human Services Agency of San Francisco. She enrolled in the Vocational Immersion Program, also known as VIP, in April of 2014 and began taking our English as a Second Language classes. Bertha managed to work in the afternoons at one of our host-sites while also attending classes in the morning.

Since leaving the Vocational Immersion Program, Bertha has started working and continues to pursue her educational goals while also encouraging her children to finish college. For Bertha life is about courage, hope and opportunity. Her biggest motivation comes from her son, a high school senior, and daughter, a student at City College. Her close relationship with staff and classmates brings her back to Arriba Juntos. “We are family,” said Bertha.