Hometown Heroes 2018: Maribel SantosLast Edited:
CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.J.—Maribel Santos, as a former probation officer of 13 years, founded her youth ministry with gang violence prevention in mind. Formed in 2003, her ministry originated with three girls but grew to incorporate boys as well. The mission of her ministry was to empower the youth to become leaders in their own communities, strengthen their faith, continue their education and steer them away from violence.
As of 2013, the group, Teens for Christ, has helped more than 350 teens and has been recognized by Bishop Joseph A. Galante of the Camden Diocese as well as by the Mexican Consulate. She and her husband Arnaldo are co-owners of GAAP Consulting, LLC (Gang Awareness and Prevention), which specializes in training for state, school, judiciary and law enforcement employees. They both published a book titled Street Gangs and God - The Battle in the Streets, available on Amazon.
Previously, she earned an award for Outstanding Presentation to revitalize downtown Bridgeton. In her current position as a public relations coordinator for Bottino’s ShopRite, Maribel has created a cooking show in which special guests cook their favorite recipe with in-store dietitians to make it healthier. She has fostered a relationship between the store and the Latino community with programs such as Project Thanksgiving and Coats for Kids, and is currently a member of the Hispanic Advisory Board at Cumberland County College.
Maribel was also a key volunteer in the Heart to Heart One Cumberland Puerto Rico Telethon in December.
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