Marithess Rico has dedicated 7 years life of pursuing her passion of working with kids. She found her home working with youth through a Bayer Healthcare Support program, whose aim was to help low income and at risk youth find a successful career in the biotechnology field. It was here that she originally touched the lives of countless students and staff. During her years here she worked with 100- 150 students a year. Meeting them in their sophomore year and then working with them until the end of their senior year. Thanks to her hard work and love 100% of the students she worked with graduated high school. Many of the students found themselves achieving what they thought was impossible, being accepted into well known colleges or even securing a well paying jobs in the biotech field.
One of the traits most remembered by Ms. Rico is her endless support and sacrifice. She made sure every student had her personal cell phone number, letting us know that her door was open 24/7 if we ever needed help or just advice. She would often use money out of her own pockets to provide snacks and supplies for us during program meetings. We would also often see her some mornings looking utterly exhausted but still with a smile on her face, only for us to learn that she had stayed up past midnight working late at the office just to make sure everything was in place for whatever event was coming up.
Many of us can recall staying for hours after a meeting or class just to hang out with her and talk or texting and calling her throughout the day for some advice. Even now she still keeps in touch with many of us, as our lives have continued far and beyond the youngsters she helped shape.
For all of us, Ms. Rico was such a positive figure in our lives it was easy to forget she had a life of her own. In her personal life Ms. Rico is a struggling single mother to a 21-year-old son. Six years ago Ms. Rico lost her fiancée of 8 years due to heart failure. The tragedy struck just as she finally agreed to finally take time out of her career and tie the knot. Ever since then she has been trying to find herself again while also trying to provide for her family. She decided to try pursuing her other passion of business while juggling all of her kids. For a while she found herself working a full time job, a part time job and studying to get her licenses. No matter what struggle was going on in her life, we never saw it phase her positivity or love for us.
But her ambition does not end there; Ms. Rico is truly a jack of all trades. Some how accruing other skills and following other dreams in her busy life. She is an entrepreneur commercial loans and real estate certified; a certified bartender and motorcycle enthusiast. While she may be pint sized, and lovable she also has a strong backbone and a big heart. Her dream is to start a motorcycle club for other women who share the same passion of riding and who want to support young woman to better themselves to prove that are so much more than their bodies and sex appeal.
We her students would like to show her that although she is facing a very unfortunate situation, everything she dreamed of and would like to accomplish is still possible. We would like to support and do everything we can to help her chase her dreams and accomplish her goals just as she did for us when we were young.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read her story. Although it’s hard to fully capture and portray how phenomenal Ms. Rico is, we hope that you see and understand our cry for help.