Photography by Phase Twelve Studio
Meet Mary. She is Beauty Revived.
The face of strength and a survivor.
My name is Maria and I want you to meet my cousin Mary, she is a loving, caring, respectful, dedicated and responsible young lady. Looking at Mary you would never know that her life was never easy. Growing up Mary was an easy target for being bullied. Mary has Asperger’s which made it hard for her to be social and make friends.
When Mary was 8 years old her parents decided to divorce. At this point Mary and her mother moved a couple hours away from her father which was devastating because they were very close. Two years later, Mary now 10 years old, her father passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack. His death took a big toll on her and her mother and at this point her mother became mentally unstable. Since Mary’s mother was unable to care for her she was bounced around from home to home until my husband and I stepped in to be her temporary guardians. Unfortunately due to her mother’s severe depression, Mary’s mother ultimately took her own life. So not only did this poor child lose her father, 6 months later lost her mother. Her world came crashing down and to say she was lost and emotional distraught is an understatement. Mary struggled with trying to comprehend why her mom left her when she needed her the most. After her mother passed away Mary became an orphan of the state and was put in the foster care system. My husband and I took immediate action to become foster parents to keep her in our care.
Mary has suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, major anxiety, depression and attachment disorder. Mary had a really hard time adapting to a new school, a different family and finding where she fit in. After many years of therapy and help from loved ones she has learned how to manage her mental health.
Mary is a beautiful person from the inside out despite what she has been through she is a very caring, compassionate and dedicated person . She likes to help others by sharing her story and bringing awareness to the damage done when a loved one commits suicide.
Above all odds Mary has persevered and is doing very well. She has learned through the help of therapists and her amazing band director how to make friends and cope in certain social situations. This teacher always makes sure Mary is included and welcomed. Being in band has taught her how to find herself, gain close friendships and create bonds that she’s never had before. She is no longer an easy target because she has found her voice to stand up for herself and others. She is a leader and seeks to help other kids through their struggles by sharing her trials. Mary has also found coping with her depression through music to be very therapeutic. Mary’s mother loved music and was in the marching band in school, so she takes a lot of pride in following in her footsteps.
Mary is now a senior in high school and maintained excellent grades and a seat on the honor roll and has been in the gifted program since first grade. She has been involved in concert and marching band for 2 years, 1 year of indoor guard and is starting her first season of indoor percussion. She also received the wildcat recognition in 2014. Mary has been accepted to Indiana University of Pennsylvania and will start in the fall of 2018 majoring in Business management.
About the Photographer
Hi I am Kristin! I am the owner of Phase Twelve Studio located in Pittsburgh PA. We specialize in high school and teen photography.
As a mother and the oldest daughter of four girls, I am wholehearted focused on the self-esteem of young girls; my photography is aimed at revealing natural beauty and refocusing how girls view themselves. My goal is for every girl to walk away from the experience seeing themselves in a new light.