Mary Beth was born and raised in the North Hills. Although she gave birth to her daughter Caterina while in high school, she still finished on time in 1999. She started college at The Community College of Allegheny County that fall but later transferred to Bidwell Training Center to pursue a career as a Travel Agent. She graduated in March 2001 and got a job in July at a travel agency in the North Hills. However, the attacks on September 11 dealt a tough blow to the travel industry, and Mary Beth was laid off.
After a series of temporary jobs as mainly a receptionist or secretary, she secured full-time employment as the Assistant Manager at a video store, where she worked for two years. After a short maternity leave after the birth of her son Alex in November 2007, she went part-time at the video store before getting laid off in March 2008 when the video rental industry plummeted.
Mary Beth had been living with Alex’s father in Brookline until this time. After they parted ways, she used up her savings for rental housing until she moved into Benedictine Place in August 2008. She says, “I knew I had to get back on my feet. And HEARTH strives to give people the tools to do that.”
At Benedictine Place, Mary Beth says she got back involved with her family and children (her daughter Peyton was born in December 2008), got back in school, set up a savings account, and learned budgeting skills. Through her individual case management meetings, she learned how to say no to people, stand on her own two feet, and stand up for herself. She is very introspective and, by creating a timeline of her life, is assessing how her experiences as a child have affected her in adulthood.
Mary Beth has struggled with depression and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) since childhood. She has been in and out of therapy and on and off medication for her depression since she was 15 years old. She says, “I struggle with being accepted; I want people to like me, and I look for ways to get attention.” She has had difficulties with ADHD since she was 6 years old and has been on and off medication. Her ADHD causes her to have concentration issues and be “fidgety and flighty,” and she now feels this has contributed to her making poor decisions.
Mary Beth chose to enter the PRIDE Program because she was not ready to live on her own. She says, “I need to be stable for my children. I don’t want to fail again.” She is currently enrolled at CCAC in the MOST Program, which stands for Modern Office Systems Training, and she loves it! She will finish in September 2009 and remain in the PRIDE Program as long as she wants to.