Our Participants

Mary's Center serves nearly 50,000 participants from almost 50 countries each year. Here are some of their stories.



Young Mom Gains Confidence...and a New Career

Mulu, an immigrant from Ethiopia, came to Mary’s Center as a new mom aged 25, anxious about her son’s health. But she got more than medical care and reassurance. She found a new career and a path to financial security for her family through our Child Development Associate program. Read More.





Debra's Journey to Recovery

Debra says she’s a real Mary’s Center cheerleader. Mary’s Center is where she found hope and a path to freedom from the opioid addiction that had gripped her since she was a teenager. Now she’s looking forward to a bright future and a new job, where she will show others that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Read More.




Mary's Center Gives Help and Hope

Veronica arrived in the US in October 2013, pregnant and alone, fleeing gang violence in home country. Although her future was uncertain, she was excited about having her baby. Edison was born a month later, but Veronica was confused when the doctors told her that her baby had spina bifida. She says Mary’s Center’s Early Intervention Program for Children with Special Needs was a godsend, giving her hope and connecting her and her precious son to the services they desperately needed when no one else seemed able to help. Read More.


Sifredy, Liver transplant patient


Another Shot At Life

Fiercely independent, Sifredy hesitated to seek help for his medical problems. His insurance had lapsed anyway, so what could he do? He finally realized he couldn’t continue like that and went to Mary’s Center, where the doctor saw him despite his lack of insurance. Dr. Mueller realized that his condition was serious. In addition to Sifredy’s hernia and diabetes, the doctor realized that he was anemic and that he needed a blood transfusion. Worst of all, his liver was failing. The clock was ticking. Read More.




A Bright Future

Hermann had a dream. He wanted to go to college. But he didn’t know how he would make it happen. As recent immigrants from Cameroon, in West Africa, his family certainly couldn’t afford the sky-high tuition.  Fortunately, Hermann discovered the Mary’s Center After School Program or ‘Teen Program’, where he got help and encouragement in applying for college and for scholarships. Today he is studying at a prestigious university, after winning  a Gates Millennium Scholarship, which will pay for his education through his Ph.D! Read More.




The Strength to Rebuild

Nicolás was devastated when his wife died, leaving him with four children, including newborn twins. Lost and broken-hearted, he had to stop going to his English classes and was unable to work because he had to look after the children. The Father-Child Program at Mary’s Center helped him to find the strength to rebuild his life and get back on track. Read More.






A Blessed Mom

Cassandrea was angry when she found out she was pregnant for the fourth time. She was a drug addict and her three other children had been taken away from her and placed in foster care because of her addiction. She was afraid of losing another child. A Family Support Worker from Mary’s Center helped her learn to love her unborn baby, forgive herself and get her older children back. Read More.


Dr. Derejew Tessema, dentist


A Story of Hope

Life was tough for Derejew when he moved to the United States from Ethiopia. His wife was pregnant and they had nothing and no connections in this country.  Afraid but determined to build a better future for himself and his family, Derejew turned to Mary’s Center for support. Derejew has come a long way and is “paying it forward” as a dentist right here at Mary’s Center! Read More.





Taking My Life Back

Michelle worked with ambassadors, generals and presidents. But depression took all that away, and more.  She became a virtual recluse, with sadness her only companion. Luckily, she took the brave step of seeking help at Mary’s Center. Thanks to her sessions with a Mary’s Center Behavioral Health therapist, Michelle found joy in life again. Read more.



Ana Alvarez


A Proud Face of Mary's Center 

Ana Alvarez overcame the odds. She experienced poverty as a child in Guatemala, and had to drop out of 2nd grade to take care of her siblings. When she moved to the US as s teenager, she was put in 9th grade, even though she couldn't read or write. Ana found help and encouragement in our Teen Program and eventually went on to get her Bachelor's degree! Now she is helping other Mary's Center participants to find the path to wellness and a better future. Read more.

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