Monday, May 16, 2022
When Maggie Gravely first arrived at Ms. Joyce’s home at the age of 15, she kept waiting for life to fall apart. Because of everything she had been through with her biological and previous foster families, Maggie was ready for something to go wrong that would mean she would have to leave, for the bough to break. But it never did because she was now in the care of Joyce Lawrence.
From day one, Ms. Joyce made it very clear to Maggie that she could count on her for genuine, unconditional support if they both treated one another with respect. Maggie recalls Ms. Joyce asking, “Do you want a house or a home? I can’t give you a house, but I will give you a home.” For seven years, Ms. Joyce delivered on that promise to Maggie, and has done the same for dozens of other children in The Home’s foster care program. With open arms, Ms. Joyce has shown the undeniable positive impact that fostering can make on children who desperately need relief from the hardships of their past.
Much has changed since Maggie arrived at Ms. Joyce’s doorstep, but the values learned under her roof still guide Maggie in her personal and professional life today. Maggie now gives back as a life coach at The Home’s Somerville Village Program, where she helps young women who haven’t yet found their permanent connection. She shows them, by example and through her work with them, that they are not defined by what they’ve experienced or suffered, but that they can have – and they deserve – better.
When she was 19, Maggie participated in The Home’s educational program with Bridgewater State University. While she enjoyed her time there, she stepped away before completing the full credits needed to earn her bachelor’s degree. Today, it is the wish of both Maggie and Ms. Joyce that Maggie will one day finish her degree. The team at The Home has long been inspired by both Maggie’s and Ms. Joyce’s commitment to helping create brighter, better futures for others and caught wind of their collective wish. This spring, The Home announced the creation of the Marguerite Gravely Scholarship, a scholarship that will be awarded each year to an employee of The Home to help with their tuition in their pursuit to earn their bachelor’s degree. On April 28, with Ms. Joyce proudly by her side, Maggie became the very first recipient of the scholarship at The Home’s 2022 Voices & Visions celebration.
With this award, Maggie will have the opportunity to make her dream of returning to school a reality.
Watch Maggie’s journey here.