In Their Own Words – Alberto’s Story

By Jacqueline Rodriguez on July 13, 2016

Categories: Our Work, Real Stories


LIFT Shriver Development Fellow Jackie remembers the exact moment she met Alberto.

The first thing he said was: “Hey Ms. Jackie, I want you to write a story about me because I want to inspire my fellow community members to never give up on themselves.”

One year later and it is finally time for the single father of three to tell his story of resilience.

After his wife abandoned him and his three young children, Alberto became depressed and turned to alcohol to numb the pain. After realizing that he would die if he continued to binge drink, Alberto found it in himself to quit.

“I could have easily continued drinking, but thanks to LIFT I got the support and resources to get my life together,” he said. “I want everyone to understand how important is it to have someone who listens to you and who is rooting you on.”

Thanks to his work with LIFT, Alberto was also able to finally get his residency card, a huge milestone for many of the immigrant families that come into LIFT-Los Angeles’ office.

Not having that card mean that for more than 40 years Alberto was undocumented, and among other things, unable to visit his homeland Mexico.

Having residency gives him the freedom to do many things, including save up money to reunite with his family and childhood friends. A cheering crowd he could have used during his struggles – and successes –  over the last four decades.

When Jackie asked Alberto what his next goal was, it was clear it everything he’d done up to this point, and everything moving forward, was all about his children.

“Ms. Jackie I want to take my daughter to Mexico to celebrate her quinceañera. My family has never met my children so I want to show them how beautiful they are,” he said proudly.

It’s clearly just the beginning of Alberto’s story, and he’s already well on his way to being the inspiration he was hoping to be.

About the Author

Jacqueline Rodriguez

Jacqueline’s responsibilities include assisting LIFT’s CEO and Chief Cities Officer. In this new role, she provides administrative support, coordinates board meetings and supports with special projects. Jacqueline started at LIFT as a AmeriCorps Vista Development Fellow. Jacqueline LIFTs because she grew up in a low-income community. She is a local of Los Angeles and has experienced Read More