Pierina Reye’s children
Pierina Reyes, a resource for her LatinX Community
Struggling far from home
Masking the pain
Blessed by therapy
After Nina’s assault, the Summit County Advocates for Victims of Abuse provided Nina with therapy for the first time in her life. She began to deal with her own obstacles, including alcoholism, depression, codependency, toxic relationships and being a single mom.
“Looking back at all of the traumatic events I had been through, therapy was truly a blessing. I changed my views and my perspective. I also felt more connected to my son. I became more nurturing, and spent more quality time with him. A lot of parents think that not doing bad things in front of your kids is enough- but it’s not. We need to show them more love and spend quality time together.”
After the sessions with the advocates ran out Nina recognized two things. One: she needed more therapy. Two: the community needed more bilingual and bicultural counselors. This began to propel a new vision for her life and intentions of an ideal career where she could help people like herself. She began to volunteer with the Advocates, grateful to give back to the organization that had helped her both mentally and financially after her domestic-violence incident. She signed up for classes at Colorado Mountain College and an English as a Second Language (ESL) course. She worked during the day and took night classes, bringing her young son along to make it work.
After graduating from CMC with an Associate’s Degree in Science and General Studies, she decided to continue with her education. She received financial assistance from the Advocates, allowing her to transfer to MSU Denver, completing her BA in Psychology. She continued to feel the cultural restrictions and judgments. “Education is a privilege in the U.S., not a right for everyone. Education discriminates people based on their legal status and finances. There are a lot of immigrants who are competent and have a desire to be productive for their communities but we have too many barriers that don’t allow us to grow.”
In 2019, alongside her mother visiting from Peru, Nina celebrated her graduation with a BA in Psychology. At the time she was content, school was expensive and time consuming. But the quiet whispers of helping people with similar experiences and situations didn’t silence. Nina continued to believe that Summit County needed more counselors to treat others with kindness, love and empathy. “The unfair part about stigma is that people can shame others without knowing the facts of the situation.
“Every person deserves to be treated fairly and with dignity. No one should be stereotyped by authorities or law enforcement.”
Healing by giving back
Piernia Reyes at the Statue of Liberty