Moms Making A Difference

They work tirelessly to make our community better, working on behalf of others to improve their lives. They are champions of Best Start Metro LA, who generously give their time and energy serving on the Community Guidance Body. And, they’re moms — committed to the well-being of their children and families. 

Growing up in the Pico-Westlake section of Los Angeles, Guisela Gutierrez says she has seen many people make promises to improve the neighborhood, but real change seldom occurred. Yet, when she learned about Best Start Metro LA’s plans to bring together parents, community leaders and others to work as partners in transforming neighborhoods where young children can thrive, she knew it wasn’t an empty promise.

“I thought, ‘Wow, how organic — where parents and others diagnose a problem and prescribe a solution. It was important for me to join the initiative and offer my help,” says Gutierrez, who heard about Best Start Metro LA in her job as a social worker at San Pedro Street Elementary School.

She began attending community meetings and was soon elected chair of the Community Guidance Body, a group of 17 members comprised of parents, community stakeholders and leaders, whose role is to guide and direct Best Start Metro LA activities.

 As chair, she leads the group’s monthly meetings, works on funding and budget issues with Para Los Niños, the lead convener for promoting positive change within the first Best Start community, provides support to the group’s task forces, and more.

Of her work with the Community Guidance Body, Gutierrez says, “We represent the community. We are their voice. As members, we come from different areas and sectors and have a genuine voice to represent our community.”

Dedicating about 5 to 10 hours a week on Best Start Metro LA activities, she manages to find time to work, pursue a second master’s degree at USC to become a licensed social worker, and raise her four-year-old daughter, Arianna.

While she says it can be tough being a single mom, Gutierrez feels fortunate to have the support of her parents and Arianna’s father, and have her mother as a positive role model. “My mom worked all day and was exhausted, yet she still took care of the family and helped me with my homework. She gave me an example, that if you have kids, you need to be a hard worker and be an asset to your family.”


  1. I was a single mom too, so I know the hard work it takes and the difficulty involved!

  2. Getting involved made all the difference! Great post!

  3. Reblogged this on Significance & Inspiration and commented:
    This kind of community building is what it’s going to take!

  4. Reblogged. Thanks for this post!

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