Teen seeks academic help from El Nido and grows to become community volunteer and encourages others to seek help too

“El Nido is a lifeline. The staff and volunteers of El Nido have a sincere concern and love for their clients and they have a vested interest in their lives”

Regina P. has devoted her life to giving back to her community. She has worked for a southern California city for more than three decades and has served on several nonprofit boards. Passionate about community and youth, she has assisted with numerous non-profit projects. She also advises families on how to manage their finances, plan for retirement and move toward financial independence.

However, without El Nido Family Centers entering her life back in 1982, Regina would likely have gone down a very different path. Starting to drink, smoke marijuana, and snort cocaine in middle school, Regina was failing academically by her junior year of high school. A guidance counselor referred Regina to El Nido Family Centers and she was assigned Liz as a counselor. “Had it not been for El Nido, I think I would have dropped out of school. I could have easily become a heroin addict, a prostitute, pregnant, or dead.”

Her counselor listened to her and allowed her to express her fears and insecurities.

Liz challenged Regina to become sober and helped move her toward positive outlets like running and writing, both passions of Regina’s. “As a result of my sessions with Liz, I was able to answer some of my own questions just from hearing them out loud. She never judged me. She also never allowed me to be manipulative or fake… she was a huge influence in my life.” Regina not only graduated from high school with Liz’s guidance, but also went on to earn a Bachelor’s in global studies.

“El Nido is a lifeline. The staff and volunteers of El Nido have a sincere concern and love for their clients and they have a vested interest in their lives,” Regina explains.

A mother to four young adults, she wants to instill in them strong morals and values in the hopes “that they will be contributing members to society: generous, kind and service-oriented.” Looking back on her experiences, Regina adds, “The most important thing that I took away from El Nido was that seeking counsel/help is okay. You are not crazy or weak if you see a counselor. Sometimes we need an outside perspective to help kick-start us in the right direction.”