Vista Maria in Dearborn Heights

3rd Act

15-06-2021 • 33 mins

Our guest is Jessica Marcetti, is the manager of volunteer resources at Vista Maria. Vista Maria services 1200 people a year and has roughly 450 children in their program and 80 women staying on their campus.

Vista Maria is a place for girls, youth, and their families to realize a life beyond trauma and ignite a life of possibility. I lead the Volunteer Resources department to connect our youth with caring adults, educate people about human trafficking, and help our community use their gifts and talents to support our mission and our youth.

Jessica has made an impact at Vista Maria
• Increasing Vista Maria's corporate volunteer engagement and grant compliance.
• Managing the Holiday Wish List program, providing gifts to the 150+ youth in our care ($39,150 in-kind value in 2020)
• Grew total in-kind giving by 44% over 2019.
• Re-imagining their alumni scholarship program to maximize impact for each recipient.
• Designed and implemented a custom, 6 phase COVID-19 safe-volunteering plan.

Vista Maria was founded by the sisters of the good shepherd who prayed to Mary and fell in love with a plot of land with a vista view. It happened to be in Henry Ford's backyard. Clara Ford later decided to sell the land to the sisters for $1.

Vista Maria offers various programs to help young women at various stages of their journey. However, there is a thread that runs through every young woman's story: trauma. Whether it is young women rescued from human trafficking, abuse, or sex trafficking.

The numbers on human trafficking in Michigan are difficult to track, and most believe the numbers are under-reported. As a result, it is a crime that exists in the shadows.

We talk about the merger with the Michigan Abolitionist Project (MAP) that allows them to start getting more involved in educating people about the issues that young women in their community face.

During COVID, there have been fewer cases of child abuse reported. However, the number has likely not actually dropped as many kids are not in school and in front of mandated reporters, teachers, and adults who often report abuse issues to DFHS.

Jessica shares some success stories of their alumni and the recent graduation ceremony. Every young woman is going onto college or community college.

One of their greatest needs right now is loving foster families. So many of the children in their programs are waiting for a Foster Family. Children thrive in a loving family setting, they heal from their trauma, and foster families can truly change someone's life.

You can volunteer at VIsta Maria here.
You can donate to Vista Maria here.

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