I was about nine years old when I first heard the words “drugs” and “addiction.” I overheard my mother and her siblings talking about their little brother who was heavily involved with drugs. Fast forward a few decades and my uncle still has his challenges along with tens of thousands of people in our community grappling with addiction. I am surrounded by stories from friends, colleagues, neighbors, and strangers who have been impacted by it. But no experience has touched me more than walking alongside individuals who have looked addiction in the eye and moving forward with recovery.
Recovery Beyond Paradigm has cemented my belief in hope, kindness, forgiveness, grace, community and the energy and influence of the human spirit. What we are doing at RBP is unique. The programs we have developed allow participants to achieve great heights. They give us permission to fail, learn and recover in a supportive and safe community.
An adult-onset athlete, I never imagined I would be scaling mountains and running ultra-marathons at this stage of my life. I was introduced to running 10 years ago and mountaineering a year after. I didn’t quite take to climbing in the beginning, having very little exposure to the outdoors in my early life. It took joining a local mountaineering organization to get my skills and confidence to appreciate the sport. Being involved with Climbing Out of Homelessness has been life-changing. Building strong relationships and communities is the reason I continue to dedicate time to this program. Being a part of this community has strengthened my love for those involved in Climbing Out of Homelessness, the outdoors and my faith.
Maria has been an administrator in the local public-school systems for over 20 years, working with diverse populations and communities in Seattle and Tukwila. She has served as a project coordinator for an advocacy group working with over a hundred local non-profit organizations. She is currently pursuing a certificate in non-profit management at the University of Washington. Maria has been involved with Recovery Beyond Paradigm since 2014 as a mentor and a board member. She is an accomplished alpinist and ultramarathon runner.