He was raised by his mother who has been diagnosed with significant mental health issues. Death and violence were regular occurrences in Marco’s world. Several of his friends and family members were killed. His best friend was murdered right in front of him. While his father was in prison, his mother was in several abusive relationships. Marco watched his mother being beaten and abused by multiple boyfriends and called the police when he could. When his father was released from prison, he was uninterested in developing a relationship with his son. This rejection was a major disappointment for Marco.
Understandably, seeing abuse, violence. and death was highly traumatic for Marco. He would cut himself, wander his neighborhood in a daze, and run into the streets and let cars dodge him. He was detached and distant. Although his relationship with his mother was strained by his behavior, she remained a strong support for him. She encouraged Marco to become involved with Found Village. She wanted her son to heal and find his way forward. After 3 years of support and engagement, Marco has let us fully into his life and is working towards a future where he is using his artistic ability to build a career.
This is why what we do at Found Village is so important. We dive into the nitty-gritty work, day-after-day with our young people. In the process, we are building trust, gaining influence and together, in partnership with our youth, figuring out a plan for progress. These issues do not resolve overnight. In this work, it’s often two steps forward, one step back. Despite this reality we know this is life-changing, generational shifting work happening in front of our eyes. We believe in a world where young people and their future generations are no longer system-involved, are living their best life and have mobilized out of poverty. You can help them do this. You can help young people like Marco discover their way to thriving.