Celebrating Sobriety

Marissa's mother has known sobriety for more than five years. Click here to support recovery...

Marissa McDaniel has known many challenges in her life. From her mother’s addiction to drugs and alcohol to her relocation and adjustment to a strange new life, her life and the lives of her family has been transformed with the support of BCD, Inc. This is her story:

At age 11, I watched my mother sink into a life of addiction to drugs and alcohol. As a result, my siblings and I were removed from the home and had to go live with relatives. Leaving my mother and being uprooted from familiar people and friends was very hard to deal with. Living in such a situation makes for a doubtful future. It’s hard to believe that you will go great places and do great things when the present is so uncertain.

About the time I turned 15, my mother found help in BCD’s recovery program and, my siblings and I were uprooted once more to a different city and state. We went from a small town in North Carolina to what seemed like a huge city: Little Rock, Arkansas. The culture shock and becoming familiar with a new way of living was very difficult. So much so that, after a year, my older sister and I begged to go back to North Carolina. Her request was granted, mine was not. After she left, I became the oldest child in the family and responsible for my younger brother and sister.

I was heartbroken that I could not go home with my sister, but I put my faith in God, and I surrounded myself with good, positive people who were going somewhere in life. Moving to a new city was scary yet, the opportunities to do what I wanted and be who I wanted were limitless. I could have gone down so many paths. Having good friends and positive people in my life like those I found at Black Community Developer’s Youth Initiative Program have helped me stay on a positive path. I have been able to go places and experience so many things that I know I would not have if I actually had gone back to North Carolina with my older sister. It’s a blessing in fact. God knew what He was doing!

I now work for the New York City Department of Education as a Biology and Chemistry teacher for 9th and 10th graders. I teach in a small high school in the South Bronx. I love learning science, especially learning about the human body and I love helping people. So, my next endeavor will be to enroll in medical school, become a doctor and pursue a career in public health. After that, only God knows! Thank you, God… and thank all of you wonderful people at BCD who helped my mother find sobriety, and helped me build the foundation for my life.

"We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28