For Laura Rodriguez and her family, the May Dugan Center was more than just a building; it was a link to help, hope and a better future. Her family’s
involvement with the center began in the 1970’s when Laura and her brother, Jose, participated in May Dugan’s Youth Coral Camp during the summer. Growing up in the near west side, the Rodriguez’s, along with a majority of other families, struggled financially. During the holidays, the family participated in our Adopt-A-Family program and took part in the Food and Clothing Program every month. Laura recalled several occasions where the only food in their cupboards was that from May Dugan’s Pantry.

As she grew up, the center began to play a larger role in her family’s life. The Rodriguez family has a history of battling mental illness. From 1993-1998, their mother, along with Laura and Jose, sought counseling sessions through May Dugan. The center was there to lend a compassionate hand to help the Rodriguez family regain hope and control of their lives. In addition to receiving counseling, services such as food and clothing, employment, and educational programming through the Education and Resource Center provided the caring support system they needed.  Our proven holistic approach helped Laura and Jose realize their full potential!

Laura went on to earn her Associates Degree in Political Science from Cuyahoga Community College, making her the first one in her family to earn a college degree! She resides in Lorain County and volunteers her time to the Young Latino Network, RTA Advisory Board, and the Hunger Network. In addition to Laura’s success, Jose passed his GED in November! He is currently applying to AllState Hairstyling and Barber College on Lorain Ave. in Ohio City!