We first shared about Maria Jose back in 2011 (http://bit.ly/190sLSJ) as someone who has been active in our youth programs. This fall, she graduated from high school, and we learned a bit more about her story and challenges along the way.
As the only girl studying to be a mechanic, Maria Jose has encountered a few extra hurdles. During her first year of high school, her classmates gave her a really hard time. They teased her a lot. But her teacher supported her completely, and she also found support in Common Hope’s youth groups, which she has attended for many years.
Maria Jose says she used to hang out with just her sister and one other friend at youth groups, but program leader Rigo challenged her to open up and get to know everyone. He told her, “One day, you’ll need other people.” Maria Jose took his advice, making new friends, and becoming very involved in the program. She even began giving motivational talks and trainings on Saturday mornings. “It’s so beautiful when your peers seek you out for advice,” she says. “You can’t be prideful in those moments. I’ve learned to be humble and friendly.”
Maria Jose graduated this fall and started a month-long internship with Common Hope’s mechanic after that. She is well on her way to a promising career in her chosen profession.
Your support makes it possible for students like Maria Jose to blaze new trails and succeed. We celebrated 156 graduates this year, each with their own challenges surpassed with the help our programs, which you make possible. Thank you!