This month Mary and her family are going without gas or electricity in the apartment because it was either purchase food or have warm water. As an 18-year-old teen mom, life isn’t easy. She not only has a responsibility to her daughter but is the oldest of 7 children, living in a cramped apartment in Orange County. On the days when she can’t scrape together the money for the bus fare, Mary will walk an hour and a half to get to school. After she had her baby, regular school was too difficult to balance so she now goes to Access. Access is geared towards students with past attendance issues or simply because they had a difficult time succeeding in the normal school system. It offers a shorter school day and more individualized learning for students like Mary, who hold part-time jobs. Mary’s social worker describes her as “the girl that never gives up. She is incredibly hard working.” Mary’s working towards her GED right now with all A’s and B’s in school. She plans on graduating this year and can’t wait to get into college and eventually veterinary school.
When Giving Children Hope donor and friend Prafulla Shaw heard Mary’s story, she felt compelled to help her achieve her goals. When Prafulla asked Mary, “If money were no object, what would be your greatest need to help you graduate school?” Mary humbly replied, “A bus pass, so I wouldn’t have to be late walking.” Prafulla and Tender Care Community Outreach Program were more than happy to give Mary the $100 for a bus pass with the promise that Mary now had her very own cheerleader. Prafulla explained that she will do whatever it takes to enhance Mary’s chances of finishing her education and achieving her goals. Mary, feeling overwhelmed by the sentiment, said, “I want to succeed so one day daughter doesn’t have to live the way I do. Thank you for believing in me.”
Giving Children Hope has provided Mary with diapers, hygiene products, and a special gift of a pair of beautiful UGG boots.