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Meet Martha Millan of Penny Lane Centers

Today we’d like to introduce you to Martha Millan.

Martha, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I came to the US in 1978 as a 17-year-old from Mexico. Due to my age, I was placed as a junior at Valley High. The counselor from school informed me that I didn’t have enough credits to graduate so she was suggesting I quit school and get a job to help my parents (her words.) I dragged mother to the district because I wanted to graduate. I ended up attending a continuation school and graduated from HS June 1979.

I completed one year at the local community college and became fluent in English. I took a part-time job and continued with college. I was the oldest of eight children and therefore the most abused; physically, mentally, emotionally, and was sexually molested by mother’s husband. At that time, I didn’t know but she was aware of the abused and did nothing to protect me. Therefore, I believed it was “normal.” I went on and married at age 19 just so I could move out from home.

Married a substance abuser age 18 and had two beautiful children and divorced him five years later (was tired of getting hit.) Met the father of my youngest child and moved in with the other substance abuser and left three years later. While living with him, I went back to school because I came to the conclusion that education was the way out of my misery. I wanted a better life for my children and my future grandchildren. I now hold two Masters; one in Education and the other in Psychology. I want to help the next generations and give them hope.

Has it been a smooth road?
Being hated by mother because her husband “wanted” me instead of her.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Penny Lane Centers story. Tell us more about the business.
Penny Lane provides mental health services to mostly a Latino population receiving Medi-cal or social services. Working at Penny Lane for the past seven years has allowed me to help others and give them hope. Just as someone gave hope when I seek mental health services for me.

Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years?  Any big shifts, changes, trends, etc?
At this time, the agency has already expended and now we serve the homeless teens in LA by the TAY center and we just opened an outpatient clinic for adults with substance abuse issues. In addition, the agency provides inpatient services for teens with substance anise issues. So for the next 10 years, I hope to see the agency being able to assist more troubled teens and adults that perhaps were abused as children and grew up thinking those behaviors were “normal.”

Contact Info:

  • Address: 5628 East Slauson Avenue. Commerce. 90040
  • Phone: 323-480-9262
  • Website: Penny Lane.org

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Wendy

    June 18, 2018 at 16:02

    Thank you, your story is inspiring. Blessings on your journey of helping others.

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