“I am filled with hope and confidence for my future and my family’s future. Living at SOLARA Apartments is a big reason for this optimism.”
Before Monique Falucho moved into SOLARA Apartments, she was feeling stuck, not only in her cramped two-bedroom apartment, but also in her options for moving ahead in life. With five children, she found it challenging to meet the needs of her family and find time to pursue her own dreams.
The Falucho family moved into SOLARA for a more stable and affordable home, but soon discovered that the opportunities provided there could help them build a brighter future. With less money spent on rent costs and access to money-saving resources provided at the learning center, the family is able to save more money towards their educational and career goals. Mrs. Falucho says,
“Living here at SOLARA has helped us save money in many ways to better help the needs of my children and our home. I have discovered that there is hope for upward mobility and security through getting involved in our community, attaining an education for myself and my children, and researching career opportunities.”
Living at SOLARA has also provided learning and growth opportunities for the family. Monique’s children participate in CHW's onsite after-school program, Study Stars, where they go to get help with homework and gain valuable leadership skills. Mrs. Falucho is very involved in the learning center as a volunteer homework tutor and Resident Popular Educator. This leadership position allowed her to learn about more ways to be active in the community. She says,
“I have become empowered to know my family has a voice in this community and we are now active in informing our neighbors of upcoming opportunities to have our collective voices heard.”
Monique’s confidence has increased tremendously through leadership projects, including registering residents to vote and attending a leadership institute. She was even nominated for a Ruby Award from the San Diego Housing Federation for Outstanding Resident Leader.
Monique’s involvement at the learning center fueled her desire to continue her own education. Her experience watching her daughter improve her reading skills in CHW’s afterschool program led her to pursue her dream of teaching. With encouragement from the SOLARA site coordinator, Monique decided to go back to school for her associate degree, graduating this past May in Social Sciences. “It was a proud moment for my family,” she says, as they witnessed her reaching a goal she’d been working toward for years. Monique sees a bright future ahead of her: “I thought I was too old to go to college, but CHW has helped me see that it is never too late to set goals and aspire to a better future.” Mrs. Falucho’s next milestone is to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and continue to help children in her community. She says,
“I would never have had the ambition or the belief in myself if I hadn’t been here in this environment of hope, empowerment and opportunity.”