Independent Woman – Aranza Murillo

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Aranza Murillo is happy to consider potential new career opportunities thanks to MEND’s Job Training Program. Working with Yolanda Anguiano, MEND’s Job Training Coordinator, Aranza has just finished this popular program as a job trainee. Crediting Yolanda’s coaching, mentoring, and patience, Aranza was able to successfully complete the eight-month program on time. She says she’ll miss Yolanda and all the special people who helped her along the way, including those in the garden department at MEND where Aranza first volunteered.

Born in Sylmar and now living in Panorama City, Aranza came to MEND through the Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) program which provides employment-related services that ultimately leads to self-sufficiency and independence. “Independence is very important to me. I am now better off. I am more mature and job ready,” she says.

At home, she is busy as the single mom of 3-year-old Melanie, the light of Aranza’s life.

“When Melanie is enrolled in kindergarten, I want to return to school for more training,”
she says. For now, she is grateful for the experience in MEND’s Job Training Program
that has allowed her to grow. Aranza considers herself lucky not to have needed MEND’s other services to date. She says, “Donate to MEND because others should know about this place. MEND gives to the people who really need it. MEND has been there for them.”

Aranza’s immediate plans include updating her résumé with her new skills and applying for jobs in several areas that interest her. She now has enhanced computer skills in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, as well as experience as a receptionist, administrative assistant, and special events coordinator. She may even, in fact, have to think about which of these career paths she prefers to follow next.

By Volunteer Susan Groveman

Photo Caption: Aranza Murillo (right) and MEND Work Readiness VISTA Kristie Luna (left)