Marta Dominguez – A Tale of Growth


martaFor Marta Dominguez, finding her voice has been a transcontinental journey. As one of eight siblings growing up in Colombia, parental attention was hard to come by. She recalls craving attention, not just from her parents, but at school from teachers and classmates too. Unfortunately when she did receive attention at school, it came in the form of bullying by both boys and girls. This laid the groundwork for a negative mindset and low self-worth.

With the instability Marta experienced at school, she needed support at home. She received it but not the way that made her feel like she was good enough. She didn’t feel capable, or believe in herself.

Ready to start over, Marta immigrated to the United States from Colombia in 1988. This was a chance at a new life, a new Marta. She made ends meet by becoming a live-in nanny and attending night school at San Jose City College, eventually earning her degree in accounting. It wasn’t easy, she recalls. Her days began at six in the morning and ended with her coming home at midnight.

Eight years later Marta met a man and got married but unfortunately she didn’t feel appreciated, seen or supported. Twenty years later, and after participating in the Inspired Heart program she found the courage to stand up for herself and is now becoming a strong role model for her two daughters.

Besides her own daughters, Marta is most passionate about is keeping communities and families safe. Because of this she accepted a job that was going to be a big stretch for her – Training Specialist for the San Jose Police Crime Prevention Department. Part of this new job is to give two hour presentations to communities all around San Jose. When the reality really hit home it was overwhelming.

Only one month into her new position, she thought she wouldn’t make it through the probation period. The same self-confidence issues emerged, only now they were could potentially cost her her job. “I don’t believe in myself,” Marta says, “never feel like I measure up and always beat myself up for making mistakes. I continually sabotage myself. To make matters worse, I don’t feel like my team respects me.”

When Marta thought she might lose her job, she reached out to The Inspired Heart Foundation. We immediately empathised with Marta’s pain, loved her commitment to creating safe neighborhoods, and took her under our wing. After just four months in the program, Marta now feels comfortable in her own skin for the first time in her life, knowing she is enough and has a mindset for success. Here’s what she had to say:

“No more trying to be someone else. I trust that what I have to say matters and stand up for what I believe in. I’m feeling strong and give presentations to as many as 70 people, and enjoy it! My voice projects, I connect and know that I’m making a huge difference in my community which makes me feel like my life has purpose. I’m so confident now that when there is a need for someone to give a one to two hour presentation on Anti-bullying or Workplace Safety, I’m the first to raise my hand. I feel like a different person and I’m now a role model for my daughters. My team now respects me very much and everyday I’m feeling more confident, empowered and happy.”

“I can’t believe it – I broke the cycle of self-sabotage. I’m confident, and now look for what I’m doing right instead of always beating myself up for what I did wrong.”

Through the Inspired Heart program Marta has at last found her voice and the support she was seeking all along. She now believes in her abilities and her self-worth.

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