Kony Comes Full Circle

I knew about the Mary’s Center Teen Program long before I was an adolescent, because my mother, Karla Ramos, worked for the Center for 10 years, carrying out various roles in the Social Services Department. I couldn’t wait until I turned 13 and was old enough to join!

Being a member of the program was a wonderful experience for me. I learned so much and I have so much to be grateful for. Every day after school, I had a safe and fun place to go to do my homework and learn about different topics. Every summer I had a job through Mary’s Center, where I worked with various departments and people who taught me a lot and whom I still look up to in many ways. Mary’s Center was a second home to me.

Kony in Teen Program

Above: Kony as a Teen Program participant

During my time in the Teen Program, I participated in a big campaign against teen pregnancy, a summer project that taught our communities the signs and consequences of domestic violence, and many others. I also had the opportunity to work in various departments at Mary’s Center, including Communications and Public Relations, the Pediatric Clinic, the Education Department and even partner agencies such as the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. I gained a lot of valuable job skills.

I also learned how to negotiate the college and scholarship application process and used that information to secure a partial scholarship to Kent State University in Ohio, where I majored in Political Science with a minor in Latin American Studies. I even had the opportunity to work for Ohio State Representative Kathleen Clyde’s re-election campaign during my time in school.

Kony with current Teen Program participants

Above: Kony (standing, 4th from left, with current Teen Program members

I am very proud that I am now a Teen Program staff member. I want the participants to have the same positive and enriching experience that I had here. It is extremely important to me to be part of this team, not only because of my history with Mary’s Center, but also because I want to be able to contribute in the best way that I can to the success of every student that walks through the doors of the Teen Program every day.

Read the inspiring success stories of Teen Program participants Mikias and Hermann who won prestigious college scholarships!


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