Cinthia, a graduate of WomenRising, Inc.’s Group Home for Girls, is attending Rutgers University on a full scholarship. She has come a very long way from being kidnapped by her father at age 7 from her mother in the Dominican Republic. Her father brought her to the United States with her six siblings and stepmother. He abused Cinthia physically and emotionally. When she was 14 years old, he threatened to kill her. She called the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) to get their help to escape from the only home she had known. DYFS referred Cinthia to WomenRising, Inc.’s Group Home for Girls.
“Thank God for WomenRising, Inc.,” -Cinthia, a strong, proud, and capable young woman of 16, who in 2001 graduated from Emerson High School in Union City.
“When I arrived at the Group Home, I was scared, but I knew I was safe. They treated me with respect and kindness. I felt wanted. Susan Pranzo, the director, was like a friend to me.
Cinthia wants to be a psychologist, “to find out why we do the things we do to each other.” And to one day become a senator “to support more organizations like WomenRising, Inc.”
“It is truly amazing to see group home girls go on to college. There are so many odds stacked against them. We as a country have not afforded poverty- stricken people the opportunities they deserve; and each generation has less to offer its youth.
Our clients are not all like Cinthia, but they share her spirit and courage. We cannot expect someone who has spent most of her life in a damaged environment to turn around in a moment’s notice. The Group Home can bring most of the girls a fighting chance. It makes me so grateful to be a part of this.”
-Rose Davis, former Director of Administration for WomenRising.