As an undergrad working toward getting into law school, Sofia Jaquez is incredibly busy. In addition to being a full-time student and volunteer in the Bay Area community, she’s a single mom raising two daughters. Amid managing motherhood, pursuing her postsecondary education, and navigating her finances, she wants to be a role model to others, including her two daughters. From all that she has achieved so far, Sofia is already an inspiration.

“She inspires me to be more involved in my community and to speak up on things that are important to me,” says Jennaliz Blanco, a Bay Area Coordinator for Shine Together, who has worked closely with Sofia. “She has inspired me to never let anything get in my way and that with hard work, patience, and time, goals will be met and well worth it.”

Shine became a lifeline for Sofia when she was pregnant with her first child and did not find strong levels of support elsewhere. Through Shine’s programs, including the Teen Success program, Sofia gained an Advocate who steered her toward resources and helped her develop parenting skills, all while making lifelong friendships with like-minded young moms.

Now, Sofia is giving back as an Ambassador for Shine, to share what she knows with new moms just embarking on motherhood. It is a tough journey that is more manageable when moms have comprehensive support and knowledge of how to better themselves and their children, and to pursue the next step. 87% of Shine participants have graduated from high school or are on track to do so, compared to only 38% of young mothers nationwide. And 53% of Shine participants are pursuing some form of postsecondary education. Nationally only 2% of young mothers achieve a college degree by age 30.

Donations to Shine help young mothers, like Sofia, reach their potential by graduating from high school and pursuing post-secondary education so they can create thriving futures for themselves and their children.

“Not only does the program support moms but children too. Through donations, two generations are able to thrive and receive help.”
— Sofia Jaquez

“Donating to this program would expand opportunities to other young moms like me,” Sofia says. “They will be supported with education navigation and resource brokering. Contributions will also help out with financial emergencies as well as providing experiences that most young moms would be unable to afford on their own, such as a trip to Happy Hollow Zoo.”

A first generation student of her family to graduate from college, Sofia is working toward becoming an attorney, to be a representative of her community.

She wants people who look like her and were raised similarly to feel seen and supported.

She’s already making progress toward this goal as a founding member of the Youth Liberation Movement and a board member of Work2future, San Jose Conservation Corps, and a Google funding committee. Sofia graduated from Mission College this May and was accepted to every university she applied to. Sofia will begin the next stage of her journey at University of California, Berkeley this fall.