Maritza: June Celebrity Mom……Following her dream!

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 I chose Maritza to be this months Celebrity Mom because of her positive spirit..not only today but when she was a student at COPE. I will always remember her as an inspiration and positive influence on the other girls. She would be the first one up in the class if someone was breaking down and she would put her arms around them…Those qualities you never forget. She possessed a desire to make something of herself for her son and watching her grow up I see she hasn’t lost that desire. When I post on Facebook that I need something for a new teen mom she is eager to help out. I want to see Maritza succeed in the child-care field because she has all the qualities to be a great teacher!….Congratulations again Maritza!
Maritza's Family
Maritza’s Family

My name is Maritza I’m 22 years old and I graduated from Cope in 2009. Being a teen mom at 16 with my son Isaiah was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with till this day.

I was living in New Jersey when I found out i was pregnant. In that area they expect females to drop out of school when they are put into that situation. Before becoming pregnant I was all about school and my grades. When I became pregnant the rumors and gossip started to spread around to the point where I had to be home-schooled.Family members in Florida kept convincing me to come back to Florida for a great school that offers help to girls like me. I figured it would be worse because who would want to help a pregnant 16 year old?

When I finally moved back to Florida I decided to attend school at COPE. The decision to attend COPE was easy due to the fact that all the friends I had before leaving to New Jersey were all distant when they found out I was pregnant. They acted as if I had a disease. COPE school was all I had when I felt all alone and COPE allowed me to be the mom I Am today.

We all went through the same struggles from the ‘father to our children problems’ and family problems. I’m so grateful I was able to graduate high school. When I walked with my zoned high school I received looks from peers who were shocked to see me there, which was an amazing feeling!

I have a different mindset than most 22 year-olds which is tough for me at times. I wish I can just spoil myself or just go on vacations but instead I have to make sure I’m working my 40 hours to have a full paycheck to pay my bills and provide for my kids (which I consider a big bill).  It used to hurt so bad to be with my son’s father, he was my weakness and not a good influence on me at all.  Then I met an amazing man who took in my son Isaiah as his own and we had a daughter together.  He’s my rock and has helped me through some really tough times.

Even though my life has come to a complete stop to some people, in my eyes my life has just began and I will keep doing my hardest to make my kids happy. Next month I will have my certification to care for children in day-cares, which is something I’ve always dreamed of doing.

Little by little I  will further my education in child care but it’s definitely a goal I will achieve. I want to say I love you Ms. Debbie so much! I think about you everyday, in my eyes you are my angel and without your beautiful words and encouragement I would’ve probably been lost. COPE was a beautiful experience and I wouldn’t change that for anything!

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