“This is my passion now. With COFI, I’ve found a family that accepts me where I am. I am part of this movement.”

Liliana Olayo is the mother of three children who are 9, 14 and 22 years old. She lives in Aurora, a community where COFI is training parents to be leaders. “COFI teaches me that I need to be strong for my kids-but that can’t be possible if I don’t take care of myself.”

“I’ve learned about many tools and resources by being involved with COFI,” says Olayo who moved in 1991 from Mexico to the U.S. where she has lived ever since.

“I tell COFI I have three goals,” Olayo says. “I want to make a difference on my street, where it’s not always safe; in the school district, where we don’t have school buses; and in all of Aurora. We need more parks and more activities, especially for teenagers. They need to know that someone is thinking of them.”

Liliana is currently participating in COFI’s Phase 3 Advanced Leader training and continues to advocate with parents statewide on issues that are impacting children and families.