Miriam Santana, Our New Outreach Worker: “This Is Where I Belong”

On most workdays, Miriam Santana is out at schools and community meetings, giving out flyers and talking to families about the benefits of BRIDGES at Lake Worth West.

The 43-year-old mother of two boys flashes a quick smile and comfortably tells parents in her native Spanish to check out BRIDGES’ educational and family support programs.

The routine is a whole lot different from her old life in the Dominican Republic, where she was a lawyer helping individuals with everyday legal matters.

“I love my job and my life here in Lake Worth,” said Miriam, who recently started working as an outreach worker for BRIDGES at Lake Worth West.

“This is where I belong. I’m a mom and love helping other moms and parents,” she said recently, taking a break from her new part-time job.

Miriam is no stranger to BRIDGES.

When she moved to Palm Beach County in 2011, she got involved in BRIDGES at Highland in Lake Worth. She attended workshops, went to activities, and became friendly with staff and other families.

Eventually, Miriam moved further west in Lake Worth and started going to BRIDGES at Lake Worth West events. She, again, got to know the staff and families in the community.

Once the outreach job opened, Miriam was a natural fit, said Rhonda Rogers, executive director of Lake Worth West Resident Planning Group, which runs the BRIDGES at Lake Worth West program.

“She’s great at helping us get the word out in the community,” Rhonda said. “She’s really happy and a great member of our team.”

Sometime soon, Miriam wants to become a full-time employee of BRIDGES so she can help more parents learn how to be better parents and support their children. And, in the years to come, she hopes to take the Florida Bar Exam and become a lawyer specializing in immigration law.

But for now, she’s happy working and just being a mom. This summer, she’ll be close to her oldest son, age 11, who will attend summer camp at Lake Worth West Resident Planning Group.

“This is where I belong. I love it here,” she said.