Park West | Mentors: Vanessa
Carla Moran is 18 years old and has a beautiful daughter, Arlene. She became a part of JU4Y during her junior year of high school at Park West, her mentor at the time was Vanessa. From 8th grade to High school, she involved herself in fights and pointless altercations with students from nearby schools, which then caused her to constantly transfer between high schools. During that time of her life, she was a very angry person. Carla was hurting and did not understand her emotions. At the time, the schools Carla was jumping from only cared about her actions, not the root of the problem. After her 3rd transfer, she was transferred to Park West as the last opportunity to stay within the Pomona Unified School District (PUSD), here is where she was introduced to Just Us 4 Youth. The principal at Park West knew Carla from Garey, so he really pushed her to do and be better. While at Park West, Carla was still involved in drama, the only thing different this time was that she didn’t have the school administration blaming and belittling her because of her actions. Instead, they supported and connected Carla with JU4Y, that is when she realized, to help someone is to understand them. This is why Carla felt so connected to JU4Y, they took her in and welcomed her into a family that she did not know she needed. At this point in her life, it didn't feel like she was stuck in her ways, because she had people who accepted her the way she was. She finally felt like she had people to help her become a better and healthier version of herself. At this point in her life, JU4Y believed in her and that was enough for Carla to desire to do and be better. This organization connected Carla to so many people she never imagined she would be friends with. JU4Y even played a role in her meeting Jehova, the love of her life, and the father of her baby girl. Now apart from being involved, she now works as an Administrative Assistant for JU4Y. JU4Y has opened new horizons for her and still care for her and her family post-high school.
A message from Carla:
“Every single day I’m grateful for the things that I have learned and the things that I will continue to learn. Just Us 4 Youth has taught me there is a way out! That there is beauty in the struggle. This organization has impacted my life for all of the right reasons, but in the end, everyone is in charge of their own destiny. Life places things in front of us and it is our decision to pick up a new route or continue onto your unhealthy habits. I will forever be grateful for the ones who believed in me, supported me and my family, heard her me, and saw me at my worst. At the end of the day, to want something is to work for it. So yes, Just Us 4 Youth opened my eyes, guided me, believed in me, but most importantly, I had to do my part to get where I am today and this is just the beginning..”