DUNK­ING IT OUT

THIS ROLL MODEL CAN AT­TEST THAT BAD TIMES DON’T LAST

Low Rider - - ROLL MODELS - STORY & PHO­TOS BY JOE RAY

At a time when most chil­dren are form­ing friend­ships and build­ing an iden­tity, Marisa Ros­ales spent nights cry­ing her­self to sleep. You see, at the age of 7 she was sent to San Diego to be raised by an un­af­fec­tion­ate aunt. Count­less nights were spent pon­der­ing the ques­tions of life. She won­dered why her par­ents let her go, won­dered if she had done any­thing wrong, and ques­tioned not only her fate but her fu­ture.

But this was just the be­gin­ning of a tu­mul­tuous life.

Marisa’s life comes off like a great screen­play. In what could best be de­scribed as bit­ter­sweet she en­dured plenty of pain, but she pow­ered through it all. In high school she was home­less for nearly a year and dur­ing that time she found so­lace in an au­to­mo­tive class where she made a con­nec­tion with cars. Day after day she would chan­nel her frus­tra­tion into each and ev­ery project and as her skillset grew so did her ad­mi­ra­tion for clas­sic cars.

Each day on the way to school, Marisa passed a junk­yard filled with Hud­sons. Day after day it be­came a vis­ual im­pres­sion she would never for­get and soon there­after she and her boyfriend picked up a '49 Hud­son. But as the pieces of her life seemed to be com­ing to­gether, it wasn’t long after the cou­ple started work­ing on the Hud­son that he trag­i­cally died. But if you think for one minute that life got any bet­ter, think again. The tri­als and tribu­la­tions of life were about to fall on her young shoul­ders and there’s a rea­son why she named her car after the likes of the in­fa­mous movie car “Chris­tine.”

Lit­tle did Marisa know that what she was go­ing through was an in­for­mal ed­u­ca­tion that would make her ex­cel at her job. Now a se­nior pro­tec­tive ser­vices so­cial worker, Marisa has spent the past 17 years help­ing chil­dren. She un­der­stands all too well what some of these chil­dren are go­ing through and it’s her abil­ity to con­nect with these chil­dren that gives her the up­per hand. She’s fa­mil­iar with the mind-set, she’s aware of the tell­tale signs, and she’s ded­i­cated to mak­ing the world a bet­ter place for them to live.

But be­ing sur­rounded by the daily strug­gle is a har­row­ing ef­fort— es­pe­cially when it comes to child abuse. To see a child in dis­tress is an emo­tional drain, and with only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week to give your best it’s hard for life not to take your best. So to help bal­ance life and rec­ol­lect her thoughts and en­ergy, Marisa finds so­lace fly­ing the Dukes

Car Club plaque and tak­ing her candy red long and low '49 Hud­son out for a cruise. Her car is more than just a form of ther­apy, it’s a ve­hi­cle of ex­pres­sion that has plenty of sto­ries to share.

So as we con­tinue with Sea­son

3 of Roll Mod­els, spon­sored by Quaker State, be sure to check out her seg­ment be­cause Marisa’s got a story to share. She’s a re­minder that bad times don’t last and that be­hind ev­ery ob­sta­cle is an in­cred­i­ble des­ti­na­tion that can only be reached by re­silience, fo­cus, and the de­ter­mi­na­tion.

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