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Mary’s mother threw her away. That’s a harsh term, but it’s the truth. It meant years of living in group homes. And it meant learning to fend for herself, in ways she never imagined.

The group homes gave Mary the counseling she needed to deal with her family situation helped her focus on her future. But it hasn’t been easy. Although she was an excellent student and a stand-out in track and field, she always felt living in a group home made her stand out in a negative way.

“I was looked at and talked to differently. Teachers underestimated me, kids ignored me, and people I called my friends made fun of me,” she explained.

Mary learned to tune out the negativity so she could hear those who were cheering her on. Because of her determination to succeed in spite of her past, she is now living at Bridge House, a subsidized apartment, working and attending college. And the Somerset Home staff is nearby to offer advice when she needs it.

With safe, affordable housing and a support system nearby, she is able to move into adulthood with confidence.

She hopes to do medical research and find the cure for AIDS. Mary has proven to others – but most of all to herself – she can be a success.