Many people overlook the journey they took to achieve the success they have today, or often they may forget who they are and where they came from—but not Liliana Melchor. The hardships faced by Liliana not only makes her the person she is today; they are also where this story begins.
Liliana was born in the U.S. to immigrant parents who hoped to give her the best possible chance to have a brighter future. Due to financial instability and lack of resources, however, they were forced to return to the west-central state of Michoacán where she would live until she was 6 years old.
Moving back to the U.S., Liliana attended several high schools but was forcibly removed from each one due to poor grades and behavioral issues. Most recently she attended SIATech Charter School, part of a network of public charter high schools operated in partnership with Job Corps, WIOA programs and school districts—when she learned about Interfaith Community Services’ Transitional Youth Academy (TAY). Interfaith is a funded partner of the San Diego Workforce Partnership.
Liliana faced significant educational difficulties due to drug addiction as a result of PTSD and family instability. Lacking credits and motivation to attend school, she felt frozen in time.
She was eventually referred to Interfaith by a staff member at SIATech. Interfaith Community Services is a community-based organization in North County that offers paths towards self-sufficiency through its various programs under five clusters: Housing, employment and economic development, self-sufficiency and supportive services, clinical & behavioral health, and recovery and wellness.
At Interfaith, Liliana received assistance with professional development (resume writing, interview skills, job leads, etc.), fees to pay for school, bus passes, basic needs like food, behavioral health services and a paid internship.
Through this connection, Liliana was offered to be a receptionist at one of the Interfaith offices in Vista. It was because of this trust and faith that had been shown to her that she decided to attempt to pursue something better for herself.
Now two years later having successfully graduated both high school and a certified medical assistant program with honors, Liliana is a trained medical assistant. She has since worked in numerous clinics and urgent care centers in San Diego County and is known as a caring and dependable caregiver who is appreciated and loved by her community.
Liliana was also part of a youth program called Project A.W.A.R.E., which helps at-risk youth, and would like to thank them for the help they gave her to recover from her addiction: “To Regi, you may no longer remember me, but for the love and support you gave me, I will always remember you.”
Liliana also has words of advice for others in similar shoes: “Nothing in life is ever set in stone, and the choices you make don’t have to define what you become, have courage to do something more and most importantly believe in yourself.”