Camp Harbor View Alumni: Mariana

“Camp made everything possible. Without camp, I don’t know where I would be. It’s that simple.”

In 2007, Mariana started camp “under protest.” Her mother made her go, and she went, kicking and screaming. A self-described “angry child with a lot of issues,” Mariana had no place to put her rage or any outlet for her emotional turbulence. She was 14 when she came to camp, and she became an LIT the next summer. “I was being tested over and over in my life back then,” says Mariana, “and there’s no way I would have gotten through any of it without camp. Camp gave me something to look forward to every day during the summer, and, in the off-season, it was what I dreamed of. It was always in my mind.” Mariana had forged a close bond with the late Mayor Thomas Menino, co-founder of Camp Harbor View and one of the city’s greatest advocates for Boston’s youth. She took his passing hard. “I wanted the Mayor to see that I was no longer that angry 14 year old, how much I’ve grown, and, now, how much I want to give back to his city. It’s all about paying it forward. If I can help even one kid out in the same way that camp helped me, I will be very grateful. I want to give back to the kids who don’t get the opportunity to come to Camp Harbor View, the kids who are still on the streets of the city of Boston.” Because of the camp staff and their faith in her, Mariana will soon begin her career as a Boston police officer. “This camp is a blessing,” said Mariana, choking up. “People always say that it is life changing and that sounds clichéd. But I’m here to say that they’re right. Camp made everything possible. Without camp, I don’t know where I would be. It’s that simple.”

Ivan 

“Camp helped me open up and find different ways to express myself, and who it is I’m supposed to be.”
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Mariana

“Camp made everything possible. Without camp, I don’t know where I would be. It’s that simple.”
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Ayjah & Brianna 

“…Camp gave us scholarships so that we were able to further our education, so we could grow,”
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Alejandro 

“I never would have gotten better without camp. There’s no way I can thank them enough.”
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Malika & Mike Williams 

“I don’t have to hold his hand anymore…He’s made his own way,”
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Jamal Grant 

“…what makes Camp Harbor View unique is how it has transformed the lives of myself and others,”
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