“At my lowest, Enterprise for Youth Believed In Me”


“When I was at my lowest, Enterprise for Youth believed in me when I couldn’t. They gave me an opportunity to continue and showed me what I’m capable of. That’s why I’m so grateful for Enterprise”

–Kristel Mantilla-Ulloa
Enterprise for Youth Intern
UC Berkeley class of 2026

Youth like Kristel succeed because Enterprise for Youth shows them they can. Individualized support is a key ingredient in our job readiness and internship programming, allowing young people the opportunity and confidence to discover their skills and passions.

At age 16, Kristel Mantilla-Ulloa came to the United States from Chimbote, Peru. When she arrived in 2019, Kristel feared her inability to communicate in English would hold her back from attaining the work experience she needed to pursue her dream job of being an immigration lawyer. Her disappointing experience with the legal system as a newcomer led her to feel anxious and depressed. Recognizing the obstacles and anxieties that come with being an immigrant, Kristel began to believe she would not be able to achieve her dreams. 

“Enterprise intervened in this [very intimidating] situation,” says Kristel. From 2021 through now, Enterprise’s programs and staff members have been vital to Kristel in helping her discover a new dream job, find the tools and resources to grow, develop skills, and, perhaps most importantly, gain confidence in herself and her future.


“Enterprise has given me the internships I needed in order to be a strong professional.”

Kristel’s first internship through SF New Deal helped her learn about marketing and social media in the food industry. Her second and most impactful internship was at Edgewood Center for Children & Families, which opened up her eyes to nonprofit work serving low-income youth and families. Kristel says, “Edgewood changed my life and helped me find my true passion.”

Over her summer 2022 internship, which continued into the fall, Kristel learned about psychology, solidifying her desire to pursue becoming a psychologist. Kristel was matched with Edgewood by Enterprise staff member and native Spanish speaker Luz after learning about Kristel’s strong interest in mental health as well as her doubts about pursuing it professionally. “I am eternally thankful to Luz. She definitely made and is still making a big impact on my life. I always knew I wanted to do something related to helping people.”

Kristel is currently a second-year student at UC Berkeley, double-majoring in psychology and public health. While in college, she continues to develop her skills with Enterprise as she follows her passion. This past summer, she worked as a Program Assistant and grew her leadership and communication skills by helping youth throughout their internships. Now, as an Enterprise Team Intern working with Luz, Kristel supports employment partner outreach so youth may have the positive internship experiences she has had.

“I have developed my leadership and teamwork abilities greatly as a result of my experience with Enterprise for Youth. These experiences have not only influenced my professional development but have also made me realize how important it is to create a friendly and cooperative work atmosphere. I am eager to apply this lesson to all of my future activities”

Enterprise has helped Kristel understand the power of lifting others by providing nurturing support to her and all youth in the program. Kristel recognizes that her journey to develop as a professional with Enterprise has ultimately helped her develop as a person. She’s experienced first-hand how Enterprise’s combination of emotional learning and workforce development can pave pathways and create opportunities for growth and transformation.

“​​For me, Enterprise was a partner in my development rather than merely a helping hand. They supported me through good times and bad, and their actions had an unanticipated impact on my journey. I am now more than just a recipient; I am evidence of the strength of encouragement and belief. Your donation is an investment in the dreams and inspiration of individuals seeking a chance to thrive.”

More on the impact of your donation from Kristel:

“Your contribution helps eliminate the obstacles that restrict students’ opportunities. Enterprise helps students bridge the gap between academic and real-world experience by offering doors to a world of options beyond only internships. By doing this, your gift contributes to the development of a workforce that is competent, diverse, and equipped to take on new challenges. 

Think about how your donation will affect things later on. You may affect meaningful change in the lives of people as well as the larger community by supporting Enterprise. Your support creates a circle of success that goes well beyond the first internship experience by assisting in the development of the next generation of leaders, innovators, and social contributors. 

Your financial support of Enterprise is an investment in changing lives and realizing ambitions. The success stories of those who, like myself, have profited from Enterprise’s transformational impact bear witness to your generosity. Your kindness starts a life-changing adventure, and by helping even one person in discovering their passion, you make the world a better, more accepting place.” 

Enterprise needs your support to meet our annual income goals. Your donation will directly impact our programs and help young people like Kristel.


A special thanks from Kristel

Kristel would like to extend her gratitude to Enterprise staff members Luz and Meghan who have helped her develop personally and professionally, and to her supervisors, Gregg and Joelle, at Edgewood who supported her through her internship and inspired her true passion.

Thank you to Enterprise intern Christina Chen who originally interviewed and drafted this story. Thank you to Kristel for her openness, honesty, dedication, and thoughtfulness. All of us at Enterprise for Youth are continuously inspired by the young people we serve.