Viviana & Maya
ALUMNA, TEEN SUCCESS, INC.
SAN JOSE PROGRAM
SAN JOSE PROGRAM
20-year-old Viviana’s coworkers tell her, “you’re so young,” when they find out she has a 2-year-old daughter named Maya.
But being young and being a mom, figuring it out as she goes, that’s perfectly okay with Viviana, “it’s okay not to be grown,” she says. “I always say, ‘always keep an open mind.’”
Viviana, in her private security uniform, jumps into the car on the way to our interview over lunch, “go, go, go,” she says jokingly.
Between fries and burgers, Viviana (now a Teen Success, Inc. Ambassador) catches me up on her life. Since getting a Teen Success, Inc. Scholarship this past spring, she’s started school and is exploring the idea of changing majors to Child Development seeing that it could benefit her parenting skills with Maya.
As exciting as it is to have the opportunity and support to pursue her education, it comes with challenging choices.
“When you’re going to school, you’re not making money,” she says. "That's the hardest part about going to college."
Government assistance isn’t enough to help Viviana take care of Maya, she has to make sacrifices to fill the financial gap. She sometimes lets Maya spend the night with her aunt so she can meet her work and school responsibilities to provide for her.
Viviana tells me that she used what she learned in The Four Agreements, a book she received when she graduated the Teen Success, Inc. program, to land her current job.
Her interviewer said to her, “You can’t get wrapped up in all the drama,” and she responded:
“I always have four things I go by, be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best.”
Viviana’s been working steadily with the same company ever since.
“Right now, I’m happy to be able to spend time with Maya when I’m not working,” she says about her life now. “It’s okay to be a teenager and want to have fun. Your child comes first, of course, but it’s okay to want things for yourself too.”