Alejandro is comfortable on a construction site. He grew up learning how to build things from his father – his role model – who wanted Alejandro to have the tools—both literally and figuratively—he could use for his future. That foundation in construction has evolved into a passion for Alejandro. Now a young father, Alejandro strives to work hard to establish a livelihood for himself, his girlfriend and their child.
On the brink of fatherhood, Alejandro realized he and his family needed additional support. That's when he was referred to AltaMed, a local Adolescent Family Life Program (AFLP) agency in Los Angeles County. He instantly felt comfortable with his case manager Liliana, who provided him the emotional support and life planning skills he needed during this time of transition.
Life planning is a key part of the AFLP Positive Youth Development Model. Life planning is a process that helps individuals plan and develop personal goals based on their strengths, values, resources, and vision for their life. Engaging youth like Alejandro in the life planning process helps to ensure youth have plans in place to maintain progress made during the program and beyond.
Alejandro says fatherhood is everything: "Being there for my children, as a support mentally and financially." Alejandro wasn't afraid to ask for help, to give him and his family the best chance at a bright future. "I know many men who think that they can do everything, but at points we have our weak sides where we need support to talk to someone to keep going on with our life … and learn how to be a better father."
Liliana says that Alejandro flourished during their sessions—making the most out of the activities they would do together. He understands the concepts of AFLP and brings the program to life. Alejandro has a strong sense of self and Liliana is there to guide him—to help him reach his full potential.
By working side-by-side with Liliana, Alejandro learned how to set both short and long-term goals. He continues to build his vocational skills on construction sites during the day, taking tangible steps to work towards his larger ambitions. When he's not on the job site, he is working at Wal-Mart to meet his family's short-term financial needs.
Alejandro has many strengths. He's funny and he likes taking care of people. But one strength that rises to the top is leadership, which he identified while working with his AFLP case manager Liliana. When his construction supervisor Jonathan is off-site, Alejandro steps in to lead and provide guidance to trainees. Jonathan has nothing but positive things to say about Alejandro. Alejandro's work ethic is well recognized on the construction site.
Alejandro has clear goals for his life. By the end of this year, he plans to be at a private construction company or working for a union in either dry walling, carpentry or electricity. He hopes to learn all kinds of trades so that one day he can build his own house.