It’s not unusual for Maria and Nat to hear from the children they’ve supported decades after they move out of the Aponte home. Updates and thank you calls, notes and Facebook posts express gratitude for Maria and Nat’s support, love and good advice.
Many of the youth Maria and Nat have welcomed into their home have come with a history of trauma. Maria and Nat work through behaviors, collaborate with schools, and help the children in their care stay focused on goals so they are able to transition to independence, a lower level of care, or back to their biological families.
“Since 1997 when they first began their work with our children, Maria and Nat have welcomed more than 75 children into their home and treated each one as part of the family, with kindness and respect,” says Amy Parola, Program Director at Pennsylvania MENTOR and the Apontes’ nominator.