STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) -- Tina Esparza has worked with children with special needs since she was just 18 years old.
“I was exposed to helping with wheelchairs and changing and helping with adaptive living skills and feeding and such,” she said. “From there, I just fell in love with it.”
It’s her life’s work -- a higher calling.
“At that time, I was super involved in our church, in our ministry and that lifestyle implanted a lot of community work,” Esparza told FOX40.
For Esparza, helping children with special needs comes naturally, born from personal experience.
“I had a lot of adults that were patient with me and worked with me in my life," she said. "So when I was working with kids with a lot of issues, I could relate to them."
Esparza, a resource teacher, started a book drive to promote what she calls “Literacy for Life,” knowing some kids don’t have any books at home.
“I got them donated by teachers, the librarian, my fiancé, my family, friends on Facebook,” she said.
She also takes time to visit with the homeless.
“Because I felt like some of them were suffering,” Esparza told FOX40. “I’d bring them food and sometimes just that companionship to sit down and talk with them.”
Esparza’s new fiancé, Brad, nominated her for this honor, proud of the woman in his life who dedicates her life to helping others.
FOX40 is celebrating International Women's Day by honoring the remarkable women in our area. This is our chance to acknowledge the contributions that they've made to our communities and the way they inspire others.
Four women from our area have been nominated by their loved ones or colleagues. See their stories every Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning this month.