The Aldine community came together last Friday, Oct. 16 to celebrate the five year anniversary of Bonding Against Adversity, and to receive awards recognizing their help in the success of the organization.
Mariana Sanchez started the counseling organization five years ago, after her previous experience working with the community for the YMCA Greenspoint. She saw a need in the community, especially with Hispanic adults and children, for additional counseling, mentoring and tutoring to adapt to the regulations and educational requirements of the world around them.
Mariana started helping just a few students and adults, at Hambrick MS and East Aldine District. This has grown to classes of hundreds, for help with one on one mentoring, immigration and social justice, self esteem and family unity, and scholarships for further education.
Speaking at the luncheon, held at the East Aldine offices on Friday, Oct. 16, were emcee Reggie Gray of the Houston Intercontinental Chamber; Congressman Gene Green; and Aldine ISD superintendent Wanda Bamberg.
In her remarks, Mariana Sanchez noted that the motto of the organization is “Helping Others Help Themselves.”
She noted that the organization had started at Hambrick Middle School, and thanked them for their generous support of time and resources.
BAA now consists of One on One mentoring, in MacArthur HS, MacArthur 9th Grad, and Hambrick. This is turoed by Lone Star mentors, and has 50 students and 50 mentors. Each receives scholarships for their participation. BAA has been responsible for awarding over $25,000 in scholarship over the past 5 years.
BAA has also assisted over 2300 legal permanent residents to become US citizens, she said. Benefits of this include economic development of the community, and family unity and harmony. Citizenship classes are free, she noted.
BAA has sponsored a Holiday Party every year at Campbell Center, open to everyone. It started with 50 families, and has now grown to 500 families.
Other services or activities that BAA provides are Zumba classes, Nutrition information and classes, and Exercise classes.
During the luncheon, Mariana awarded a Gold Star Trophy and a package of seeds to her Sponsor Group, and her Volunteer Group. The awards were made with the help of her husband, Tom Burdette.