Marisela's Extraordinary Story

Surviving Abuse and Helping Others Overcome Difficulty

Marisela’s experiences as a child are what fuels her career goals. Abused by both a family member and her babysitter, Marisela wants to provide support for children who have gone through similar trauma.

Determined to Pursue Her Education Goal

Both of her parents are immigrants who struggled financially to keep their children fed and clothed. As a teenager, Marisela knew she wanted to go to college, but her parents did not support her dream. They refused to help her apply for scholarships and financial aid, so at age 16 Marisela started working to save for college. Determined to pursue her education goal, Marisela paid her way through an associate’s degree program.

Marisela’s goal is to work for nonprofit groups that provide support services to any child—no matter their race, ethnicity, immigrant background, gender, or sexual orientation.

Ever since I was young I knew I wanted to help people. There is no greater feeling than knowing that you have helped someone overcome a difficult time in their life.

New Beginnings

Her childhood has taught her the importance of acceptance and empathy, which she is striving to put into the world around her. It is of utmost importance to her to be a role model for her children, so that they can know their dreams are reachable.

With the help of the Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards, Marisela was able to pay the remainder of her tuition. She graduated from college with a degree in sociology in May 2019.


Soroptimist relies on the generosity of individuals like you to improve the lives of women like Marisela. Your support gives women the help they need to overcome obstacles—like poverty, domestic and sexual violence, and addiction—and follow their education dreams.

Please consider donating. Your gift of $100, $50, or even $10 today will go a long way and will transform the lives of women in need!

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