GAINING CONFIDENCE TO BE HERSELF
When Margarita’s mother took her to the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio eight years ago, she was an introverted and shy student. She would typically keep to herself in school, and her mother wanted to put her in a nurturing environment that would foster her social and intellectual growth during her teen years.
Margarita couldn’t have known at ten years old how much of a positive impact this decision would have on her growing up.
One of the many community partners that United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County invests in, the assistance Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio provided Margarita was transformative.
“I was a very closed-off person,” Margarita confesses. “I was an extreme introvert before coming here.”
Margarita credits the help she received with broadening her horizons, teaching her how to be a good student and opening her eyes to how she could make viable career pathways out of her interests.
“They were able to open up my world and help me come out of my shell by introducing me to programs like photography, robotics, graphic design and more,” Margarita says.
While learning to be more outgoing and expressive, Margarita discovered her passion for creating art. The assistance she received helped to foster this and showed her how she could turn her interest in drawing and art into a career. Now a high-school graduate, she plans on attending Texas State University, where she will study art in the hopes of animating movies in the future.
“Art inspires me to be creative, to be original,” Margarita said. “I want it to reflect how I feel on the inside. I want it to be me.”
“Drawing before this was just a hobby, a distraction. But I have learned to be passionate about it, and now I see it as a career.”
United Way invests in programs that help students like Margarita discover their passions and how they can turn those into stable careers so that they can reach their full potential. When students are actively engaged in their communities, learn in resource-rich environments and have engaged adults to support them, they are better prepared for their future.
“In these past eight years, I have learned to become more independent,” Margarita says.
“Because of United Way, kids like me aren’t afraid of who they are and what they want to do in the future.”
Watch Margarita’s story on our YouTube playlist.