Ariana, 17, is the second-oldest of six children. Her mom is a survivor of years of domestic violence. When she leaves POTC at 6:00 p.m. each day, Ariana puts in a shift at the sports arena downtown selling pretzels. A junior in high school, all her paychecks go to her family towards food and rent, so she wears the same few articles of clothing over and over again. Ariana lost her job due to the current Covid-19 crisis. POTC staff told her who was hiring and within a week she was working at a gas station. With Buffalo Public Schools closed she is “grateful” to be working more hours.
Ariana had a rough start at POTC: “I really did you wrong when I first came to Peace, ” she admitted, “but thank you for sticking with me.”