Fresno Barrios Unidos helping young mother be the best moms they can be

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For three years now, the Culture Cures Families program at Fresno Barrios Unidos has helped guide young women through motherhood. From motivating them to stay in school to lending a listening ear, it's striving to help them become the best moms they can be. They're doing this through mentor-ships.

"having a mentor can have a huge difference in the type of mother that you are and the decisions that you make in your life and even the goals that you set," said program coordinator Dayana Contreras.

Elice Ramirez Solis became a single mother at the age of 13, to her daughter Daisy. Motherhood has had its difficulties, especially when it comes to school.

"it's hard, but trust me it is going to be worth it because I have all A's right now," she said. "I'm a full-time student while being a full-time mom."

Last year she was in the program. It helped her so much she's returning.

"you are getting knowledge from someone who you have no idea who they are and it just expands your knowledge," said Ramirez-Solis. "Sometimes they can benefit you in different areas and my mentor did do that for me."

The program pairs young and expecting mothers ages 14 to 24 with a female mentor. They can range from an attorney to a producer. Juanita Gonzales is a businesswoman, veteran and a mother of four. Last year she was a mentor. She loved it so much, she's doing it again.

"I love to see them, I love to see their children, I love to spend time with them," said Gonzales.

Juanita and the other mentors will be paired up with the mothers for a year. They meet twice a month and even go on bonding trips. Contreras said it gives them something different to look forward to.

"I really want this program to almost be that break for them where they can just come and even though we do want them to be better mothers I just also want them to just fell like the 16-year-old girl that they are," she said.

The program is still looking for young and expecting mothers. For more information on how you can join the program or help you can call Contreras office at (559) 453-9662 Ext: 120
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