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Individual Success Story


Fresh Start has allowed me to get an education, it’s allowed me to learn more about myself and others, and it’s allowed me to grow.”   

For most of her life, Leticia* felt herself moving fluidly between different groups of people and social circles, but it left her feeling like she was missing out on a true community. She felt like she stood out wherever she was, especially with her tendency to take the road less traveled. 

“I wanted to try and do anything possible that I could, whether it was cheerleading, dance, student government, et cetera. I was just always wanting to be active and involved in whatever went on at school,” she remembered about her childhood.  

“I always had a hard time finding my tribe,” Leticia recalled. “Most likely it was because I related to so many different tribes. I could see myself fitting in, whether they put the nerds on this side, or the stoners on this side, put athletes on that side, yes, we had a connection, or I had friend in either circle, so I could go either way.” 

Leticia realized she had a lot of different interests and maybe she’d be able to find the community she wanted in her life if she honed in on a few specific hobbies.  

“I just needed to learn how to prioritize my interests to find out what my goals were. Fresh Start showed me how to create boundaries, and they showed me how to establish smart goals, and to obtain and maintain healthy relationships,” Leticia said. 

As her life constantly changed, Fresh Start guided Leticia through several challenging goals. 

“They helped me develop a support system with social workers and staff. Now, I also received an opportunity to volunteer through a program called Thrive On. I love Fresh Start for allowing me to become one of their participants in the partnership that they had with the University of Phoenix. I did end up getting my master’s degree through the University of Phoenix and it was fully paid for. I also participated in the Small Business Start-Up Program at Paradise Valley Community College. So, Fresh Start has allowed me to get an education, it’s allowed me to learn more about myself and others, and it’s allowed me to grow.” 

Leticia embraced the idea of a growth mindset and continued to always go one step further. She has benefitted from several resources in the Impact Program by completing career workshops and the Personal Empowerment Series in 2014 and 2019 and participating in support groups while also working with a Fresh Start social worker since first finding the organization in November 2013.  

“The people who come to Fresh Start have the growth mindset because they are in a position to want to change their situation instead of dwelling in it,” Leticia said. “Like I was when I came to Fresh Start, they’re ready to figure out what needs to change for them to complete their goals, dreams, and desires.”