“I was always the quiet one, and the responsible one,” shared Mariah when recently reflecting about her life growing up. She lived on the Eastside of Indianapolis with her mom and 5 sisters … “and several brothers.”
Even though test taking was difficult for Mariah, she worked hard and graduated from Lawrence Central High School in 2016. Soon after, she got a job and moved into her own apartment.
“My mom was proud of me.” she said.
One day while she was at work, her apartment caught on fire. A neighbor had left a space-heater on. All her things were ruined. She sadly recalls, “I lost everything.”
Along with being pregnant at the time, her life was becoming very difficult.
Her mom wanted Mariah to get her life back on a good path and told her about The O’Connor House. Mariah also wanted to change her path, so she contacted The O’Connor House and was thankful to be able to move in. She delivered her baby boy Terrance Jeremiah on Oct. 27, who is lovingly called TJ.
Mariah is currently employed at ManorCare Summer Trace in Carmel as a housekeeper. She’s thankful to have a job and to be living with TJ at The O’Connor House and saving money for their future.
In the past, Mariah took the test to obtain her Driver’s Learner Permit, but she failed several times. While at The O’Connor House she was able to enroll in a driver’s training program. For two weeks, Mariah went to work and then to her driver’s training class from 5-7:30p.m. The classes, plus studying together with her Mentor Cyndy Bailey, helped her to finally pass the test to get her permit.
Cyndy shared, “I am so proud of Mariah and her perseverance. She is working hard to get her license and to save money. I had tears in my eyes as we walked out of the BMV!”
Mariah was thrilled when they told her at the License Branch that she passed! “I was so happy to pass the test. I felt it was a big step forward for me. It was a big step towards getting my license.”
“My goals are to be a good mother to TJ, continue working, save money, get my license, and someday get a car.” She added, “Being at The O’Connor House taught me about budgeting and saving money. This has been helpful! Someday I hope to work as a CNA in someone’s home.”
Mariah shared that she feels like her mom is proud of her again. “Coming to The O’Connor House brought us back together. And TJ brings us together also. I’m very thankful to all the supporters for providing this home!”