Sherry’s journey with Santa Maria Community Services’ Every Child Succeeds (ECS) program has changed her life in a big way. She faced tough times but stayed strong and determined. With the help of her ECS Family Support Worker, JoAnne Dwyer, Sherry improved her family’s living situation, helped her youngest child reach health and developmental milestones, and learned valuable parenting skills.

Sherry’s three children—Dejuan (Baby D, age 3), Rohan (age 5), and Miya (age 4)—bring her a lot of happiness and motivation. She said they are her reason for starting each day and raising them is her proudest accomplishment in life. Sherry left a bad relationship three years ago and wanted a better life for her kids. She found out about Santa Maria’s ECS program, which offers holistic in-home support to enhance the well-being and growth of children from economically disadvantaged families.

Sherry met her first Family Support Worker, Lauren, who played a significant role in connecting her with the resources she needed. Then, Sherry was introduced to JoAnne, and the two formed an instant relationship that grew into a supportive friendship. Sherry said, “She and I created a bond that was out of this world!…She became family.”

Together, JoAnne and Sherry made a plan for a safer, bigger home. After two years, Sherry succeeded in securing a three-bedroom townhome at City West. This new home has significantly improved Sherry’s family’s quality of life. Sherry feels a sense of relief knowing that her children can play outside without the safety concerns they faced previously. The close proximity to the police station and the children’s school adds an extra layer of security and convenience.

Even though Sherry had many concerns at first, she managed the challenges of being a single parent and keeping her children safe. Santa Maria gave her essentials like diapers, car seats, toys, and food which helped Sherry stabilize her family’s living environment. Santa Maria’s dedication to program participants and the genuine concern demonstrated by the staff have left a lasting impact on Sherry. She said that Santa Maria has not only helped her overcome obstacles but has also become a true support system for her and her family.

With Santa Maria’s help, Sherry wants to finish high school and is already halfway there! She plans to take the GED test in November and hopes Santa Maria can help her secure a study partner to help her prepare for the big day. JoAnne has no doubt that Sherry will be successful. She said, “Sherry is an amazing woman, so strong, accomplishing so much for her family and I’m excited she is ready to focus on goals for herself.”

Sherry’s story is proof that determination and perseverance can change lives. Sherry faced hard times, but with help, she found a better home, became a better parent, and grew as a person. Her story inspires all of us at Santa Maria and we hope it will inspire you as well. Please consider making a contribution that can have a meaningful impact on families similar to Sherry’s, aiding them in overcoming obstacles and flourishing through our programs.