When Vanessa started at the Forge Foundation, her father had just moved to Spain, leaving her, her mother and her younger sister alone in Montevideo. Vanessa wanted to find a job to be able to help out with the household expenses, and for this reason she excitedly joined Forge. At one point, she floundered, “I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it,” she confessed. She felt overwhelmed, money was tight and her schoolwork was suffering. Somehow, she was able to pull it all together and today, at age 19, she says she feels that she has matured and has entered a new stage in her life. She is now working at a post office. Every night, past midnight, she goes home and greets her mother with a smile on her face, and the satisfaction and pride of knowing that her perseverance is paying off.