Maria Lucia Tell
How did you first learn about and begin working with The Avery Center? How long have you been with the organization?
I love to research, and since I am a survivor, sex trafficking is my biggest passion. I discovered that the more I learned about it, the easier it was for me to understand what it was that I had gone through. I wanted to turn my pain into power by helping others, and I wasn’t going to stop until I figured out how.
I had discovered The Avery Center randomly online one day when I was conducting my usual random readings. I actually came across an article about Megan and thought to myself, “I want to be EXACTLY like her!”
I wasn’t actually referred to The Avery Center for services until I ended up living back in the NoCo area and a victim advocate for the FBI told me how wonderful they were. I basically explained how badly I wanted a job with a purpose when I first spoke to Marissa on the phone. After experiencing so many roadblocks in my career field the past few years, I was absolutely shocked when I got the interview! I'm happy to join the team in June 2021.
What do you think sets The Avery Center apart from other organizations in this sector?
The Avery Center gives second chances. They give third chances. They give fourth chances. In doing so, they flourish. There is no judgement here. Only support, strength, and perseverance. Allowing survivors to take their power back by supporting their independence and providing them jobs within the organization itself is hands down one of the best secret weapons I have ever seen.
What's your favorite part/the most fulfilling part of your role?
Every day I know that what I do matters. What I do in my job is making someone’s life better. I can’t think of a better reason to get out of bed every day. I want to be remembered for the difference I made, the impact that I implemented in others' lives. There is always hope. I really love what I do here.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not at The Avery Center?
I have 2 sons and 1 daughter and they are my world. I also have a black and white pit bull. I love boxing, any type of exercise, the mountains, Mexican food, and my Dodge Charger RT. I am Catholic and I enjoy going to mass and making God the center of my life. I love to be immature and laugh, because life is too short to act your real age!
Who is someone you admire, and why?
My oldest son, Genesis. He is only 8 years old but he is the most intuitive person I have ever met. He is also very resilient and sees the good in everything, even when it is bad.
Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?
I am experienced with basic self-defense skills as well as boxing. I am also really good at golf, and I grew up riding horses. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from The University of Colorado Denver that I got in 2011. I am currently working on my Master’s degree also in Criminal Justice at UCD as well. I have worked in the adult correctional system as well as the juvenile correctional system prior to this.
What advice would you give someone who wants to join the Avery team of superstars?
Be yourself, there is no one else like you! That is what makes you special. Authenticity always shines brightest.
“A Piece of Cake” by Cupcake Brown
TV show you're hooked on:
I just like any crime show documentary, usually on Netflix. I also love The First 48.
If you want something bad enough, anything is possible.
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