In Part 2 of this special Mother's Day Series, we asked our very own Maria Sanchez (Residential Supervisor, HALO KC) to give us more details on what her position is here at HALO, and why she's passionate about our cause.
Q: What made you interested in this role? What traits are important to you to maintain, in this role?
A: I began as an intern at HALO and really fell in love with our mission and purpose as a social service agency in KC. Every child deserves to have a supportive foundation, acceptance & love. I also believe that my role in the HALO home is a unique opportunity for the girls to connect to someone who is safe and wants to see them succeed; a lot of our youth have never experienced that. It’s important to me to be empathetic & intentional in this role. I am there walking with the girls through good times and bad times. It really matters how I react and interact with them during both.
Q: What have the girls you've been supervising mean to you? What keeps you passionate about this position?
A: I deeply care about the girls I’ve been supervising for over a year now. They have been through a lot of traumatic life experiences and have chosen to approach life with determination and vulnerability. I have really loved watching them grow as people. With support, they are developing the tools it takes to stop the cycle of homelessness & violence for themselves and their children. That is what keeps me passionate about this position.
Q: Can you share any triumphs you've experienced over the last couple years with the girls?
A: A triumph I’ve witnessed with the girls in our housing program is specifically seeing one resident have her baby boy and become a mother. It’s not the fact that she became a mother but it is the kind of mother that she has become. She fights for a future she wants not just for herself but for her son first and foremost.
Q: What does providing a foundation of a family to the girls mean to you?
A: It means that I am there with them to have the hard conversations and the easy conversations with unconditional positive regard. It means that sometimes my job is just being there. Sometimes it’s about expectations and respect. Sometimes it’s me saying I care about you and believe you. So many of our youth do not have support in their lives. They never had a family or community that told them it was okay to ask for help and that they were worthy of love. I try to be that voice in their head telling them that they are not alone in this. I think that’s what family is supposed to do.
If you missed Part 1 of this special series, featuring Jefferson City's Antwanette Talley, be sure to check it out!
Maria - thank you for everything you do here at HALO. For being a person the girl's can trust, and lean on. And most importantly for providing the foundation of a family. What you do matters and is making a difference.
Interested in getting involved? Learn more about volunteering at HALO and sign up for a Volunteer Information Meeting here.