Our dynamic Alumni Association includes former clients who are college-bound, attending college or college graduates. They are excellent representatives of the agency and important role models for current clients . The alumni speak to client groups on a regular basis, serving as examples of what teens can achieve with commitment and support. They are inspirational and passionate advocates for services.
Xiomara Peña works as the So. Cal. Outreach Manager for Small Business Majority, a national non-profit organization focused on promoting smart public policy that will positively impact small business owners and entrepreneurs.
As a founding member, she developed mentorship programs, youth workforce development programs, and work-based training activities for disconnected youth in L.A. County. Xiomara is also working on an initiative to create a Leadership Council in Compton, CA. She overcame many obstacles having been a teen parent at the age of 16 and has a mission to continue empowering underserved communities.
Her most notable accolades include a Leading the Way award and the Champion for Families award for her leadership in the Latino community. Both the L.A. City Council and several Congressional districts have recognized her.
Xiomara received her B.S. in Business Management from CSU-Northridge with Cum Laude honors.
Joe Celguera is in the world of advertising and marketing, working with small businesses and nonprofits to enhance their position in the marketplace through the use of branding, websites, social media and providing advice on market growth.
Joe has been instrumental in organizing El Nido’s Alumni Association and in updating El Nido’s communications and outreach. Joe’s future plans include spending some time living on the East Coast to grow new chapters of his business.
His daughter Rosemary is now a teenager. Joe and Rosemary’s mother are no longer together but are active co-parents in the best sense of the word. Both are intelligent, protective yet sensible parents, wise enough to give Rosemary the freedom she needs to gain a sense of self-worth, to have her own voice, to be comfortable with the choices she makes, and to be a happy and caring person.
Joe would like those unfamiliar with El Nido to know that El Nido provides a place for growth, does great work for needy communities and fulfills the mission of its name, which is Spanish for “the nest.”
Adela Garcia currently works for NCS Law Firm where she facilitates in office management. As a receptionist and data entry specialist, Adela key for day-to-day operations. In addition to working part-time Adela is a current college student at Glendale Community College, where she hopes to complete her general education courses and transfer to a four-year university to major in Child Development.
In addition to giving back through the ENFC Alumni, Adela volunteers with other organizations such as Hopes House Community Center and with the Annual American Red Cross Blood Drive.
When she is not working or attending school, Adela enjoys spending time with her son, Matthew, where together they participate in activities such as going to the zoo, aquarium, and the beach.
Evelyn Batres started at UCLA in 2014 with financial support from the El Nido scholarship program. Evelyn has proudly earned straight A’s – with only an occasional A minus – ever since she started at UCLA. It hasn’t been easy but she has taken this opportunity head on. Her daughter Ruby is now six years old and Evelyn’s motivation to keep moving forward.
Evelyn is on track to graduate from UCLA and be the class of 2016.
Evelyn wants people to know that El Nido is extraordinary and enables its clients to change their lives in order to live the way they want to live, and for that, she is eternally grateful. Having grown up in a low-income community, Evelyn plans to stay in the Los Angeles area and give back to her community to make other people’s lives better, as hers was made better by El Nido. She’s planning a career in health care administration, perhaps as a public policy advocate.
In addition to giving back through her career, she also wants to one day become an El Nido donor to help the organization that helped her and her daughter.
Susana Cervera is a proud mother of her teenage daughter and her baby boy. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and providing a nurturing home where health is a priority. They occasionally spend many days out of the year camping and being out with mother nature.
Susana is a contributing and founding member of the El Nido Family Centers Alumni Association. Susana advocates for members of her community and provides support to former El Nido clients.
Susana is also responsible for providing comprehensive case management services to pregnant and parenting teens for El Nido Teen Family Services. Susana is active in other organizations where she provides hot meals to homeless veterans. Susana is keen on gathering donations and providing assistance to the homeless of Skid Row.
Susana has a passion for human rights, health, and education. She promotes and actively stands for the advancement of social justice and the well-being of all communities.
Myrna Compean is currently attending California State University, Los Angeles in hopes of pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Child Development and Family Studies with the option of specializing in Youth Agency Administration.
Myrna is currently employed at Canterbury Elementary School as a Teacher’s Assistant working with students from grade levels K-5 and provides special assistance to students with special needs. Myrna consecutively has been awarded the Del Miranda Memorial Scholarship for four years. She has received special recognition from the California State Assembly for her volunteer service at Canterbury Elementary for over three years.
Myrna likes to think of herself as a strong person due to many problems she has witnessed and endured with her family as a child. She prides herself to not let her past define her or who she will be in the future.
Myrna hopes that her story of success will aid others in seeking a pathway for a brighter tomorrow.
Zuly earned a BA in psychology from California State University, Northridge. Inspired by the help she received at El Nido, Zuly went on to earn her Master’s degree in social work (MSW) at CSUN in 2014 and currently works for a foster care agency. She also volunteers for El Nido and was a founding member of the El Nido Alumni Association.
Zuly is the proud mother of a 20-year-old daughter majoring in psychology at CSUN, and an 11-year-old son who is in an advanced studies program at a local middle school. Her children have grown up inspired by their mother’s strong work ethic, integrity, and commitment to breaking unhealthy cycles.
“Creating a stable life for my children has been my life’s ambition. I am proud that my daughter and son are excelling in school and are very well adjusted.” Believing in the virtuous cycle of giving, she adds, “I hope to pass on to my children the importance of believing in themselves, the power within them, and the importance of gratitude and giving back to our community.”