A Story of Hope

Meet Derejew. He wanted a fresh start for his family.

"About 10 years ago, we arrived from Ethiopia. My wife was pregnant and I was depressed from leaving my parents and from the uncertainty of the future. At that time, we had nothing: no money, no relatives, and no friends. We were terrified but determined to build a better life.

I will always remember the first time I visited Mary’s Center. I was warmly greeted by a supportive staff. We became patients and my wife received the prenatal care she had missed over the last seven months. A social worker oriented us on how to navigate the system to get the support needed to build a better life. The challenges we faced did not leave a lasting scar and they did not break us apart. This was possible because of the kind care we received from the caring staff at Mary’s Center.

Today, I am blessed with a healthy family. I performed well in my dental studies at the University of Maryland and am now working in the Dental Department at Mary’s Center! By serving as a Dentist at Mary’s Center, I am giving back to this community by helping families that may be struggling through a similar situation to what I went through. I am endlessly thankful to Mary’s Center for providing a helping hand in a tough life journey.”

Derejew Tessema, DDS (Former Participant, now a Dentist at Mary’s Center)

Since opening its doors, Mary’s Center has recognized the complex needs of our participant community, which led to the adoption of a holistic- multipronged approach to helping families and individuals. We understand that treating individuals and families for their health issues alone is insufficient. Instead, we look at all of the pressures our participants face and deliver an integrated set of health care, education and social service to put them on the path toward good health, stable families, and economic independence. By asking questions that go beyond the initial reason for their visit- typically health related- we help families confront the wide range of obstacles that can affect their well-being.

Thanks to your continued support, everyday Mary’s Center is able to open its doors to families like Derejew’s looking to live their happiest, healthiest lives. Give to Mary’s Center, and give the gift of hope to families looking to transform their lives. 



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