My name is Diana Reynoso. I'm 15 years old, and I'm from Compton, California. I attend 10th grade at Torrance High School. I joined 13 Stones when I was around twelve years old. I was in the sixth grade and middle school is a rough time all together so it really helped me through those three years. I learned about the importance of self-care, not just physically, but mentally, too. And thought the program is not faith-based, I was able to express my beliefs and just express myself in general.
Putting kids in a safe place like the one Maleka provides could really change the way they face the world. I really became a better version of myself. It took me a while to find confidence frpm my peers at LBL had made it easier. They were always patient, good listeners, and ready to guide us through our problems without judgment. Giving us healthy solutions and a support system. there was never a "dumb" question to ask or an uncomfortable topic. There wasn't that fear of judgment or rejection. We laughed and cried, learned from each other, and grew together. From creating vision boards to actually accomplishing those goals. We strengthened bonds with family, worked harder in school, and made improvements in our daily lives.
We built connections with people from everywhere. Whether it was at community events, within the opportunity to create friendships with kids my age from all over the world at a month-long leadership camp. I met more people at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Financial Literacy Life Vest Program, and got to see the smiles of children at the Ronald McDonald House. These experiences allowed me to be out of my comfort zone and be open to new people, cultures, and ideas.
Life's a learning process and I'm grateful to have had the guidance of Maleka, her program, and the network of people that came with it.
My name is Jad’ia Andrews, and I’m 18 years old. I graduated from Cabrillo High School and will attend CSULB in the Fall. I have been in the Love Beyond Limits program for 4 years. I used to have a bad attitude and be disrespectful to adults. I hated opening up to people and talking in front of people. But this program changed me a lot. It made me the person I am today. It made me a mentor and leader to my peers. It helped me figure out what I want to do when I get older. I’m going to become a social worker and businesswoman. I want to build group homes for special needs, elderly adults, and teens in bad homes/foster homes that want a better life --and definitely for kids from different countries that don’t have any family or home.
Jadia’ Andrews is a 2019 graduate of Long Beach Cabrillo will attend California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in the Fall.
My name is Gabriel Reynoso, and I'm a Sophomore at Torrance High School. I have been attending Love Beyond Limits now for almost 5 years and the memories are unforgettable! Like being able to attend Villanova leadership Academy or when California Creations came and taught us how to make different dishes. LBL has taught me the importance of the 13 stones and how each stone ties into life. For example, the role of a mother to the role of a child or the child's respect for their parents or peers. Talking about these topics and having the opportunity for these experiences helped me over the years and I'm sure will help with the growth of other children.
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