Maliea was raised by a single mom who did the best she could with three kids. But they faced a lot of challenges. Maliea had a hard time expressing her feelings, was easily frustrated, and was uncomfortable in social situations.
Her school social worker referred Maliea to A Company of Girls, an after school resiliency/mentorship program. There she participated in acting games, plays, and other group activities that provided her with an outlet to express her emotions in a positive way, make new friends, and feel like she was a part of something — a place where she belonged. She also received the guidance she needed and was in a place where she could make mistakes and learn from them.
“This program has made a huge impact. Without it I wouldn’t have had the experiences, the opportunity to practice communicating differently, or to learn how to be a helpful leader.”
Maliea has embraced her new skills and learnings and will be the first in her family to go to college where she will study Psychology. She plans to stay involved at A Company of Girls and mentor other girls, and she is excited to see what the future holds for her.
Do you know what your United Way donation looks like? It looks like belonging. It looks like empowering neighbors to thrive - not just survive.
A Company of Girls, a funded community partner of United Way of Greater Portland, works to advance Thrive2027 Goal 2 (Empower our neighbors to thrive – not just survive ) by using the arts as a basis for youth empowerment to help girls reach their full potential.