Mario Renteria started with Project Padres at Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program in El Centro, CA, as a participant in 2012. Like many participants, he was unemployed, separated from his spouse, and at a crossroads. Mario wanted to have a better relationship with his three children and their mother, but didn’t know where to start. Mario signed up with Project Padres to learn how he could communicate better with his family and receive economic stability/job placement assistance.
During the course of his participation Mario began talking to other dads about how the program benefited him. During an outreach event, Mario volunteered to be a part of a father’s panel and talk about his time in the project.
Since Mario was already doing recruitment on his own, staff encouraged Mario to apply when a position opened up with the project. Currently, Mario is a part-time employee with Project Padres. Since coming on board, Mario has also helped with facilitation of classes and he has also helped to place participants in jobs. Recently, he helped place three participants in subsidized employment.
Mario’s path is unique when compared to other participants. He started out as a beneficiary, and later became an important member of the project’s team. Mario uses his experience as a former participant to recruit other dads. Hiring Mario has been a “win-win scenario” for Project Padres, a program built on the foundation that every father wants to be responsible and strengthen their family bonds. Their services are helping to reinforce this goal with comprehensive services that foster responsible parenting, healthy relationships, and provides the tools needed to obtain and retain employment.
Learn more about Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program and Project Padres online at http://www.ivrop.org
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Office of Family Assistance