Before she began spending time at the YWCA St. Paul, Nena struggled with how to spend her time in a productive way that would build a bright future for herself.
“They introduced me to a whole bunch of activities,” she says of the YWCA. “With them I got my first job, I got to see colleges and they’ve given me all these skills that I can put on my resume.”
Nena quickly became involved in the YWCA’s opportunities to connect with other young people and to make a difference in her community. She also flourished when it came to defining her educational goals and took advantage of exposure to employment and career opportunities for the future.
Now as a junior at Central High School, Nena’s busy schedule includes taking classes four days a week at St. Paul College as well as participating in her school’s Speech Club, a book club that she created, tutoring, student council, an after-school job and community service.
At the YWCA St. Paul, Nena also participates in the Young Women’s Initiative, a program launched by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota in partnership with the Governor’s Office to address disparities that young women experience across the state of Minnesota.
“I want to live a life that’s an example for younger kids,” she says of what she’s learned through the Young Women’s Initiative and the YWCA.