Every week, News 4 San Antonio tries to inspire our viewers by introducing you to people who are working hard and finding jobs in these difficult times.
One woman Kristina DeLeon met is working hard to finish school and give back to community where she grew up.
Mia Espinoza is proudly from the West Side of San Antonio. She graduated from Fox Tech High School. As a student, she says she could just sense the difference in communities throughout the city
"I know a lot of the area that I grew up in didn't have a lot of help," Espinoza said. "A lot of help from their families, or a lot of help from them because of the area that they grew up in. It seemed very impoverished to me."
After she graduated, Mia took only a few months of college then got pregnant at the age of 18.
“I did get lost," Espinoza said. "I was a little rough around the edges when I was young and I didn't feel like there was enough resources to help guide me sometimes."
After having her son, she tried different careers, but then connected with Public Allies. Mia is now on a 10-month apprenticeship and is enrolled in leadership courses in college. When completed, she will be awarded $12,000 to help pay for college.
"A lot of Hispanics growing up, they need that strong influence, that go getter influence," the 32-year-old said. "That this is the community that needs to come together and help each other "
She is now working at the East Side Education Training Center as a Community Outreach Liaison for those looking to find jobs and to go back to school.
She quickly found a need with the people she sees her every day. She began compiling clothes for its “Clothes Closet”. It’s an area where job seekers can find clothes, shoes, backpacks and blankets for themselves and their children.
A one stop shop when they come in to get help. Mia wants to continuing helping and serving when she finishes college. She wants to go back to the West Side and give back.
"I want to start something, maybe a nonprofit in the future and bring it back to the West Side and see if I can elevate the West side in any form, in any capacity," Espinoza told us.
If you are interested in Public Allies or more on the programs she is going through, click here.