Heartfelt Words from V.

“At the beginning of high school, I usually spent lunch and brunch by myself because I was so different from my classmates. So, I just kept to myself and masked my true feelings, filling the void of empty relationships with busy work. I avoided forming friendships and intimate relationships with others because it did not work out the first time. However deep inside, I wanted a best friend. I believe that Sarai, an inspirational woman, knew that before I told her in my tears across the table in a private room. It was as if she studied my actions and knew my thoughts before I even knew them. Sarai, a former stranger, somehow understood me as a person-an ordinary girl needing a safe place to thrive and freely express my feelings. With her advice and support, I began to take leadership over my own life rather than letting society; because of her, I decided to challenge myself and attend Seattle University (the most awesome university ever). She provided small yet impactful opportunities for me to gain self-confidence and reach my potential. She had created MAPS 4 College.”

“MAPS was the place where I smiled, laughed, cried, and blossomed. It became my safe haven, where I vulnerably expressed my frustration about society, deepest feelings about my past, and my journey to independence. I became more involved with my city, courageously trying new things with my MAPS community. I gained more than friends in MAPS; I gained anothaer family. I do not know exactly how it happened, but it did. I am sure that it involves Sarai-it always does. I walked in as a shy and timid high school sophomore. I have not walked out yet because MAPS is 4 life. I continue to walk as a confident college sophomore, remembering my conversations with Sarai and MAPS and looking forward for more.”

“My words cannot do justice to explain my experiences with Sarai, let alone what MAPS is. There is just something special, authentic, original and mystical to Sarai and MAPS.”

Much love,
V. L.

Written March 2014


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