Maria is a very bright young Mancunian, battling through huge obstacles to fulfil her ambition…

Maria faced one of the toughest of starts, moving into The Contact hostel for homeless young women in Whalley Range. For most teenagers, this would spell the end of their education – but not for her. Studying full time, Maria took on casual work at KFC to fund her laptop costs and travel costs to Central library to study outside school hours.

Studying full time, Mariajacky took on casual work at KFC to fund her travel and her laptop costs. Then during her GCSEs she was caught up in the Arena attack on 22nd May 2017 – remarkably managing to continue to study despite the huge stress from this experience. As a resilient young woman, she went on to get great results in her 9 GCSEs and entered 6th Form College.

Progressing to 6th form, to concentrate on her studies, Maria stopped working part-time, and again finances became a big problem. She faced the dilemma – go back out to work, or cut back on studying. It was at this point that she heard of We Love MCR Charity and our Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund. Our grant meant she could pay off her laptop debt and fund her travel to college and to the library, easing the financial pressures as she prepared for A-Level exams. She did so well that she took a place at Leeds university.

We were delighted to award her a second grant, to fund essential items so she could move into a new room in Leeds. She had initial difficulties, but as always with Maria, her independence shone through and she propped herself up in rented housing by working two jobs, one of which was in a care-home throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

These caring qualities run through every fibre of her. Maria is now studying midwifery at undergraduate level. She has found her vocation…

If we count for even 1% of Maria’s success, we’re immensely proud of her, and thankful we could help. We welcome her as our first Rising Star Ambassador and cannot wait to see the next chapter of her success unfold…

Mariajacky says: 

“The We Love MCR grants have helped me so much. Being able to study hard without always thinking about finances helped me to get to University. And I was able to use the second grant to pay the deposit on my new room, and buy bedding, pots and pans, and put something towards a bike which helps me to cut my transport costs. I also have more confidence in focussing on my educational career instead of worrying about where my support will come from. I’m determined to succeed!”

Listen to Maria speak about her experiences, what Manchester means to her and how we supported her. This video was part of the size? x Nike Manchester Air Force 1 campaign, in which size? chose Maria to be part of the video campaign – we are so proud of her!