The best gift we could receive this holiday season is to know that families we have served are thriving.

We caught up with Mayra, who successfully left Saranam 9 years ago. She has brought her story full circle- from homelessness to selling homes as a real estate agent.

Can you tell me a little bit about your journey to Saranam?

I had a bad relationship with my ex-husband. Let’s just say that he wasn’t nice. One day he told me that it was over and packed the baby and my bags into the car and made me leave.

I didn’t have a college education or a job to support myself. I didn’t know what to do.

I didn’t want to go to my parent’s house; I didn’t want to be a burden to my mom. So, I went to a shelter, who told me about Saranam.

When I got into Saranam I was so happy, this burden was lifted off me. I felt like I couldn’t take any more weight on my shoulders. Saranam took the tension off.

What did you find most beneficial about the program?


What I love about Saranam is that it doesn’t just give you somewhere to stay- they’re opening doors. Their focus on education is so important. I knew I couldn’t do two things at once and they supported me so I could get an education.

The support is what it is all about. I knew I wasn’t alone at Saranam.

It felt so warm. There were people willing to reach their hand out in a time of need.

Where does Saranam fit into your story?

It’s the middle of my story; it was the break I needed to focus. Saranam gave me the push to get started on the next chapter.

I finished an Associates in University Applied Science at CNM while in the program and went on to get a Bachelor’s in Middle Eastern and Latin American Studies with a minor in Arabic at UNM.

I am thinking of going back to school to get my Master’s degree. I want to be a P.A. (physician’s assistant). I know it’ll be hard but I have a supportive husband and I’ve done a degree before so I know I CAN do it.

Your hands are full with 5 kids 😊. What hopes do you have for your kids now?


I want my kids to be able to succeed. To get an education. That’s something we push a lot in our house. And it’s working out.

My oldest is so smart; he’s at CNM’s College and Career High School and will graduate high school with his Associate’s degree. We’re very proud of him.

What is one of the challenges you have faced since leaving the program?

Before Saranam, when I was around 19 years old, I enrolled in a semester at UNM. I had a miscarriage and left but never dropped my classes. Little did I know that those grades would reflect in my future GPA.

After receiving my Associate’s Degree at CNM, I went back to UNM to get a Bachelor’s degree. Having that GPA on my record made it really hard to get scholarships and financial aid. I struggled a bit. It took me 3 years but finally got (my GPA) over a 3.0.

It sounds like you gained some valuable resilience in the process.

daydreambeliever.JPGExperiencing homelessness at one point and trying to finish a career was a challenge, but many things can be achieved with dedication and persistence.

You have to really want it- for yourself and for your kids. I have had many obstacles that were hard, but not impossible.

What advice do you have for families at Saranam?

Try your best. This is a rare program to be able to come into. You can BE somebody. Take advantage of having a stable home and getting your bills paid to do as many credits as possible while you can.

You can do this. Only we can push ourselves to create dreams. It won’t be fast to finish, but your hard work will pay off. You just have to be patient.

You’ve really taken your story full circle from experiencing homelessness to selling homes. Wow! Do you mind if we share your contact information?

Yes! Please do. My name is Mayra and I work for RE/MAX EXCLUSIVE. I am here to help or answer any questions related to real estate. Share my contact information with family and friends.

I know how important a home is for a family and would love to help others find theirs.


Mayra Reyes

Associate Broker, Re/Max Exclusive

(505) 833-1400 (office)