YOUTH wraparound partner | WASHINGTON county
Sol was born in Santa Ana, California and is the middle child of three. Her parents grew up in Mexico but left in search of better jobs and opportunities. They also wanted to start a family and knew that conditions would be very tough if they stayed, so together and newly married, they traveled North and settled in California.
When Sol was three, she and her family moved to Mcminnville, Oregon, so her father could begin treatment for alcoholism. The rehab ultimately relocated to Salem, so the family packed their bags again and moved South. Salem is where Sol and her siblings grew up, and where she lived for most of her life.
As a young child, Sol was very high-spirited and energetic; she was always playing and making friends. At home though, Sol never felt like she fit in and was unable to talk to her family about how she was feeling. She didn’t have the strongest relationship with either of her parents, especially her father. Her parents worked a lot and them not being around caused Sol to bottle up her emotions, feelings, and anything she didn't understand.
Sol started experiencing mental health challenges at the age of 13. She couldn't understand how she was feeling and didn't have anyone to confide in, so she never spoke about it. Having to hide her depression eventually led to anxiety, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts. These issues started to affect her social life and her role as an athlete. She stopped hanging out with her friends and trying at Soccer, a sport she grew up playing and enjoyed very much.
Her life turned around after her first year of college; a year filled with isolation, not trying in class, and not making any new friends. As a result, she spent a lot of time focusing on self-reflection and building self-awareness. She read self-help books, practiced mindfulness, and put in the work to become the best version of herself. Sol always saw the possibility of being happy and knew that there was a way out. Although the methods she used were valid; she feels that she could've been happy a lot sooner if she'd had a place where she felt safe and people to confide in.
Sol doesn’t want anyone to fight their struggles alone because you never have to. Finding Youth ERA and becoming a Youth Peer Support Specialist has given Sol the opportunity to help young people overcome their obstacles and empower them to be the best versions of themselves. She feels so lucky to be a part of an organization that provides the kinds of services that would’ve helped her when she was growing up.
In her free time, you can find Sol on a trail, watching Netflix, doing some arts and crafts or hanging out with her best friends.