Anyi's Story

Part 1

Thanks to your help, we have the opportunity to study, to be someone better, to stay off the streets, off drugs, and look to the future.”

Before she took her first steps, Anyi already knew what it felt like to be abandoned. At just two months old, Anyi’s mother immigrated to the US, leaving her in Honduras surrounded by bad people. She suffered abuse at the hands of those who were meant to protect her, and left school at age 10.

We met Anyi when she was a young mother and a newcomer to this country. She had come to the US to reunite with her mother, but their relationship was still poor. Soon her mom kicked her out with her young daughter, Keisha.

Abandoned again, Anyi didn’t have anywhere to turn. Without safety and security, she fell into depression and often had violent outbursts. Her trauma left her full of fear and mistrust, stuck in a state fight or flight.

She ended up crashing with her cousin, who was a Roca participant. That’s how she met Ignacia, the Roca Youth Worker who would stay by her side for the next four years. 

Anyi holds up a certificate of achievement and sticking her tongue out as she hugs a Roca Youth Worker.
Anyi celebrates a win with a Roca Youth Worker.

Ignacia offered Anyi the chance to get an education, and counseling to heal from trauma and get her substance use under control. They slowly built trust until Anyi felt safe enough to come to the building and give Roca a try.

Anyi started taking classes in life skills and parenting. Eventually she joined our Transitional Employment Program (TEP), where she could practice essential skills in a safe environment, make mistakes, and try again.

Ignacia taught her cognitive behavioral theory (Rewire CBT), which helped her control her anger and reign in her impulsive behaviors. CBT also made her a better parent. She learned to stay calm when her children misbehave, instead of resorting to physical punishment.

But even as Anyi struggled to build a better future, her past continued to haunt her. Soon, her healing journey would be threatened when she relapsed and faced one of the biggest challenges of her life.

Stand with Young People

Give Now

I never imagined there were so many people trying to motivate me to handle all these traumas.”

Anyi poses with her Transitional Employment crew after a work shift cleaning up a local park.
Anyi relaxes with her Transitional Employment work crew after a shift cleaning up the park.

Share this story


Your gift could be life-changing for a young person like Anyi