Adversities in life can either make or break a person. April Mata is someone who has been through unimaginable things since childhood, experiences that no child should ever have to go through. She stood her ground and did not allow her circumstances to define her future through it all. Instead of wallowing over things that defiled her innocence and the early years of her life, she chose to find silver linings and clung to the hope of better days. On a mission to make a difference, April Mata now leverages her experiences to help children and adults feel that they are not alone in their battles.
“My parents divorced when I was seven, and my life quickly got turned upside down. As soon as my dad moved out, my mom was already moving a new man in,” shared April Mata. “One morning, I awoke upon hearing my mom’s voice. As I walked downstairs, she quickly got off the phone and proceeded to tell me that she had something to tell me: ‘Gilbert isn’t your real father, but I’m taking you to meet your real father today!’ That day she took me to meet my real father, who lived across the street from us in my grandparents’ basement. My life has never been the same since that day,” she narrated in detail.
At that moment, April Mata said she felt that everything she ever believed in was a lie as if the world she knew all her life no longer made any sense. During that time, she also recalled everything she had to go through in life: sexual abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, addiction, divorce, and the loss of her brother, two children, cousin, and many other loved ones. She shared that it felt as if the world was closing in on her, ready to engulf her every being. But through it all, April Mata shared that her children have been her saving grace.
Through her adversities, she grew stronger. Learning and navigating life through parenting, and seeing the world through a parental lens, allowed her to advocate for the needs of children. Today, she is advocating for children on social norms, family courts, and parental alienation to ensure that no other child has to suffer the same way she did. Her adversities were a blessing because they molded her to be the exact empathetic person she is today. But she has made it her mission to help children get the childhood they deserve.
“Throughout every downfall and painful experience has made me such a strong person. It was difficult, and I’ve seen many others give up altogether. It saddens me to think of the people out there feeling lost and alone, and I just know that my experiences will not be in vain,” April Mata said. “Somehow, I’ve managed to find the light through the darkness.” April Mata wants nothing more than to help others shed light on things that drag them to dark tunnels. As one who has been through the worst, April Mata shared that there will always be light, and the world, despite its troubles and failures, always has a hope to offer.