Single mothers are no stranger to wearing different hats, but this idea takes on an even deeper meaning with Frances Cervantes, who seems to be a natural born leader with a passion for transforming her community.
For 10 years, Frances has lived with her three children (17, 15, and 10), in Twin Rivers. During that time she has been involved in many different programs that have put her on a journey of self-reformation and community betterment.
Frances began as a student in the 4-week With Every Heartbeat is Life (WEHL) health class and eventually applied to become a leader. From increased activity and exercise to diet improvement (she got her son to quit drinking soda!) and developing a support system, Frances made lasting positive changes for herself, her family, and her neighbors. She understands what it is to be a low-income, single mother so she also wanted to provide additional support by starting the Mother’s Milk Support Group for new and expectant mothers.
This momentum carried over to her kids’ lives where she began to volunteer with the Twin Rivers Unified School District. She served as the PTA President, working with kids and organizing events, such as the Harvest Festival and Breakfast with Santa. In her determination to give back, Frances also organized the PTA to help purchase books and classroom supplies.
All of her hard work was recognized when she was asked to be a Community Representative at the HUD Conference in Washington, D.C. in 2017. While at the conference, she learned about how much goes into grant writing and said she gained a great deal of respect for those who write and carry out grants. She met people from different housing communities all over the country and truly appreciated the opportunity to connect with others as a peer.
Frances has proven herself to be a dedicated activist and passionate leader. Her children are proud of her work as a community leader and will no doubt follow in her footsteps in their own ways.
Taken from Urban Strategies, Inc. 2018 Sacramento Impact Report. See full report here.