How one D.C. mom found a community of support through Show Up, Stand Out
For Marquia Bailey and her three kids, life hasn’t always been easy. Without a steady job, moving from place to place and being a single mom, getting her kids to school on time every day was a real challenge. Being late was common, but Marquia didn’t think it was too serious or affecting her children’s education, that is, until she joined the breakfast club at their school.
About a year ago, Marquia met Diane Hall, a caseworker with Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, at Ketcham Elementary. She was passing out flyers to parents about a breakfast club as part of the Show Up, Stand Out program. Diane invited Marquia, and she decided to join.
In time, the breakfast club — and Diane — have become a critical support system for Marquia. The club taught her that she was not alone. There were other parents who were going through similar challenges and they were able to get support from SUSO through Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative. They talked about parenting and planning for the future, including helping their kids reach college. Marquia learned that when her kids were late to school, they missed out on important learning opportunities, meaning it was imperative for them to be on time.
Since joining the club, the bond between Marquia and Diane has grown, creating a relationship of trust and understanding. Whether it is getting help with SmartTrip cards for transportation, uniforms for her children or book bags and other supplies for school work, Diane is there for Marquia and her family. The breakfast club offered Marquia a support system to turn to when she didn’t know what to do or where to go. In fact, as part of SUSO, Diane was able to connect her to housing and other services.
Now that Marquia is part of a community of parents at her children’s school, things have changed for them as well. Marquia’s kids like to see her at their school interacting with other parents and teachers. They leave the house early in the morning so they can get to school on time. This is the new norm for them now that their mom knows how important it is for their future.
Joining the breakfast club has changed Marquia’s life. Not only has it brought her into a community of parents who support each other, but SUSO has helped to connect her to resources to help her get back on track so she can be there for her kids and help them excel in school.
More information about the programs offered through SUSO can be found on our website.