Misleidys_2When Misleidys Mendoza was first referred to Family Service Agency of Marin, it was a desperate time for her and her family.

After moving from Cuba to marry her husband, she was grappling with life in a new country, learning a new language, adjusting to the birth of her son and contending with growing problems in her marriage. When she first came to FSA she was separated from her husband and her three-year-old son was out of control at home and school. “ I was angry at him all the time, so frustrated I felt that all I did was yell at him.” Misleidys says. “I didn’t know what to do until my son’s school referred me to FSA.”

Misleidys was first seen by the FSA Parent Aide. “I was very depressed, crying all the time, and finding it very hard to cope.” She joined the Canal Maternal Depression group where she found support and understanding. She and her husband also began Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) where they learned how to engage their son in play and discipline him positively. “The difference it made was amazing.” she says.

Misleidys also worked with an FSA therapist. “Life got so much better and, in time, my husband and I got back together. “

When FSA’s Parent Aide asked Misleidys to care for the children brought by mothers to the Canal Maternal Depression Group, she jumped at the chance. When the position as Parent Aide opened up, Misleidys was perfect for the job. “I understand intimately what my clients are going through, how hard it can be to just get through the day. I can give what Maria gave me – support and hope.”

Misleidys is also in school working to become a nurse. Her son is an active, happy seven-year-old and she and her husband provide him with a happy, healthy family. “I am so grateful to the people at FSA who helped me through one of the hardest times in my life, and I am so happy to now have the opportunity to help others when they need it most.”