Cesia is a Mary’s Center Teen Program alumna and has been going to Mary’s Center for years with her family for their medical and behavioral health care. Today, Cesia is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University on a full scholarship pursuing a pre-med degree, with aspirations to become a psychiatrist after she graduates. However, the path to college wasn’t always easy for Cesia and her family.
“When my mom lost her job at the start of the pandemic, it did something to me. I worried about her and about the general safety and security of our family when we all got COVID. I knew college applications were coming up and I was so stressed about the process of applying and how to pay for it. In addition, I had to stay on top of my regular schoolwork. "I felt really alone because I had to try and figure out all the steps on my own during a time when nobody knew what would happen.” Cesia said.
Fortunately, Cesia had just enrolled in our after-school Teen Program, providing her with the support and resources to focus on her future despite this hardship. “If it weren’t for the Mary’s Center’s Teen Program, I really don’t know what I would be doing or where I would’ve gotten the information I needed for the college application and financial aid process. I also learned about important topics like substance abuse and social activism which I’ll carry on with me through college.”
Cesia credits Mary’s Center services in helping her not only get to her dream college, but also in providing stability and support to her family over many years. Cesia’s parents immigrated to the US from Guatemala as young adults and struggled to adapt since they did not know any English. Her mother discovered Mary’s Center over ten years ago, and Cesia’s family members have been participants ever since.
“Despite financial hardship and issues with insurance, we’ve always been able to use Mary’s Center services. It’s been a huge help knowing we can always go to the doctor or access other services like mental health help. Mary’s Center is truly a part of me.”
Support from donors help youth like Cesia and their families access our life changing care. Cesia is part of the 2022 graduating class of the Mary’s Center Teen Program, in which 100% of the 34 high school seniors were accepted to college, with many receiving partial or full scholarships. You can help Mary’s Center participants realize their dreams, support their families, and change generations to come.