Poverty was just one of the obstacles MaryAnne had to overcome while growing up. Her parents had suffered from clinical depression and could barely provide the mental and emotional support their daughter needed. As a result, MaryAnne had to be placed in foster care when she was only 10 years old. This was enough to tamper with her mental health too but she struggled to do better. With so much faith and perseverance, she was able to surmount those obstacles and rise. She has now become a pillar for many others who are going through the same struggles she went through.


MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Maryanne's mantra is "it's not what happens to you but how you react to it that matters."

Growing under harsh living conditions exposed her to situations that a child of her age shouldn't have to go through but Maryanne did not see that as a justification to remain a victim. She has decided to take her experiences and turn them into realistic development plans for others. The hardships she experienced in childhood may have snatched some privileges from her but she is working to make sure that her past does not become the present for any child or family living in Ontario. 

With a clear vision for what she hopes to achieve in her community, MaryAnne is matching the talk with real work. She went on to get engaged as a panelist on the Poverty and Homeless Committee in the city of Ontario but beyond that, she put in efforts to make the committee functional. Being a community-builder, she can't sit and watch things go awry when she is in a position to help. To Maryanne, power does not necessarily mean holding a high-profile office. Community-building means holding hands with those in your circle and walking with them every step of the way. It means giving the little or much that you have to see this group grow and become all that they hope to be.