Local youth impacted by Children’s Home Society to open race on April 21
It takes a village.
Maria is 20. She is funny, smart, and with the help of the village, Maria is empowered and on a path to a bright future.
Last year, Maria stepped in to help care for her 15 and 17-year-old siblings when her father was sent to prison. Working at a restaurant, daycare, and in a beach rentals store in Jensen Beach allowed for Maria to help out with food and other household needs. When it became clear that her step mother did not want Maria in her home any longer, Maria set out to find somewhere new to call home while still helping her siblings financially. After a few days of sleeping in her car, Maria’s friend did some online research and found the Transitional Living Program (TLP) with Children’s Home Society (CHS), which provides temporary housing for 18-22-year-olds on the Treasure Coast.
Maria met with a CHS counselor, who explained that all TLP residents must work and/or be enrolled in school. As a TLP client, Maria would be able to enroll in classes at Indian River State College at no cost.
While she is pursuing classes in business she has many other interests, like travel, fashion and educational podcasts. She currently works at our very own local radio station Coast 101.3 at the front desk, in promotions, and most recently as a voice over actress.
Adding to her endeavors, Maria will be the Race Starter for the Treasure Coast Heroes 5K and 1 Mile Walk, celebrating and benefitting children in our community who are super heroes. The event is on Saturday, April 21 at Indian Riverside Park in Jensen Beach, and pre-registration is available at BeAHero5k.com through April 19th.
There’s no doubt that Maria is going to be successful in spite of the obstacles she’s had to overcome (and those that are still to come). But with the help of the community and CHS, Maria and others in similar situations will find support, and a “hand up” in getting there.