Friday, August 13, 2010
Mario was 12 years old when he and his six siblings were abandoned by their drug-addicted mother, the only parent they had left after their father left the family in 2004.
His aunt and uncle, Victoria and Jeff, stepped forward and took physical custody of Mario and his younger sister, while the rest of his siblings were placed in the care of various other extended family members.
Victoria and Jeff came to Arizona’s Children Association to receive help in obtaining legal guardianship of the two children. The KARE Center walked them through the process and paperwork for guardianship as well as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid program. In addition, Mario and his sister were provided with much needed counseling services to help them cope with their issues of loss, pain and abandonment. With the support of Arizona’s Children Association and the loving care of his aunt and uncle, Mario got through the difficult adolescent years.
Today, he is 17 and recently graduated from High School with As and Bs. He is proud to be joining the United States Army. When asked what he is most proud of, Mario says with a smile and sparkle in his eyes, “Although I have not yet made it, I’m still going. I have a family, a lot of friends and I’m proud that soon I’ll be serving my country.” To learn more about KARE programs statewide, visit www.arizonaschildren.org/karecenter.htm.