Parent Spotlight: Maria F.
Family is everything to Maria. Mother of two OP scholars, Alexa (4th grade) and Sergio (6th grade), who are both enrolled at St. Lawrence, Maria has lived in Watts for 15 years, but comes from a small town in Jalisco, Mexico. She describes her upbringing as coming from “a very humble family and good people. My parents are in Mexico, but here in the U.S. I have four sisters, one brother, and my kids.” When asked about her own interests, she mentions how she enjoys hiking in the mountains, but says “the thing I really enjoy is spending time with my family. I enjoy everything as long as my kids are by my side.”
Maria and her family learned about Operation Progress from one of Sergio’s teachers, Ms. Cynthia, and now have been a part of Operation Progress for three years. When asked how Operation Progress has impacted their lives, she smiles, saying Operation Progress is “wonderful. It has totally changed my life.” She adds, “The kids are always talking about the program, what they do, their teachers they have in the program.” Since joining Operation Progress, Maria has also seen “a big change in school. Everything is good for them.”
Maria knows that being a mother is hard work, but she is always focused on making sure she gives her kids “attention, love, and care each day.” She wants her kids to work hard to become professionals so they can use the skills they learn in school and Operation Progress to help the community “just like they are being helped now by [Operation Progress].” Maria has shown her kids this by example. She has been active in volunteering in Operation Progress events, most recently being a great team player helping with last year’s Holiday Party, and is a strong leader in Operation Progress’ Parent Guild.
While Maria is working hard every day to make sure her kids have every opportunity to succeed in life, she is also working hard to spread the word about Operation Progress to other parents so they can help their kids in the same way she has. When discussing Operation Progress to her friends and other parents, she says “[Operation Progress] is really both for the kids and the parents.” She speaks with joy about the variety of classes both the parents and kids take during different Operation Progress workshops, specifically mentioning how much she loves Operation Progress’ painting class. Maria knows that no parent is perfect, but she is always trying to learn new things and different ways of staying on top of her kids.
Family is everything to Maria Felipe, and we are grateful she has welcomed us at Operation Progress into her family. Thank you for everything you do, Maria!
-Written by OP Intern, Ryan Pape