2024 | June

Congratulations 2024 Graduates!

Congratulations to our shining stars from Clara B. Ford Academy!

This year, we celebrated the high school graduation of three amazing students. Impressively, all three youth graduated early, demonstrating what can be done through commitment, hard work, and a supportive education environment.

At Vista Maria, we firmly believe that education is the key to a future filled with possibilities.

Our on-campus school, Clara B. Ford Academy, strives to treat, heal, and educate our students. In addition to academic instruction, we help students develop self-regulation skills and social skills that can help them control their emotions, make more responsible choices, and get along with others.

"Education equals possibilities and opportunities! Getting your education is hard work, but the more knowledge you have, the bigger the world becomes, and your possibilities grow exponentially.

Education is also something NO ONE can take away from you. It’s yours. You put in the work to achieve it, and it will stick with you. "

-- Becky Hermann, Journey to Success and DREAM Program Manager

Fearless Heart Gala Celebrates 25 Years

Vista Maria's signature event, the Fearless Heart Gala, honors the accomplishments of our young people and the transformative power of love, compassion, and unwavering support that Vista Maria provides. This year's event raised over $315,000, in support of our life-changing programs!

Take a moment to watch this video of our youth honorees...

We worked with our youth honorees, Billie and Aaliyah, to record a video sharing Vista Maria's impact on their lives. We screened this video at the gala, and we hope you will take a moment to hear from these remarkable young ladies.

Watch the Video

This year’s Fearless Heart Honoree, Precious, is a former Vista Maria resident and a shining example of what determination and a strong support system can achieve. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Wayne State University and was awarded this year's Vista Maria alumni scholarship! 

"I feel like it's important to share my experience because I want everyone to know that just because someone has a tough childhood doesn't mean they can't be successful in life."

-- Precious, Fearless Heart Honoree

Thank you to everyone who joined us at One Campus Martius and made this event such a success! Click here to see some more great photos from the evening.

We hope you will join us again next year!

Thank You to our Generous Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor

Solomon Plumbing

Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsors

Ascent Global Logistics


James Group International



Upcoming Events


Tuesday, August 13, 2024

Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center

This outing has something for everyone. Led by Board Advisor Lisa Sasaki and her wonderful team of volunteers, it is always a good time. Enjoy 18 holes of golf, followed by a reception that includes raffles and dinner to support Vista Maria's important mission.

Become a sponsor and showcase your business to a large, engaged audience while supporting a great cause. Enjoy exclusive perks like event tickets, visibility throughout the event, and recognition in our widely distributed newsletter.


Thursday, October 17, 2024

The Whiskey Factory

Join us for a fun evening at our NEW LOCATION, with plenty of free, secure parking! Guests will enjoy drinks, a photo booth, a wine pull, a short program, and heavy hors d’oeuvres.

Our emcee for the evening is Shannon Murphy, Co-Host of ​"The Mojo in the Morning Show" on Detroit’s #1 radio station, channel 95.5! Shannon has been a fierce advocate for Vista Maria and her passion really shines through when she hosts this event!

Sponsorships are still available. Click here to learn more

or contact Sarah Lesch at: slesch@vistamaria.org

Celebrating our Champions

Annual Meeting and Recognition Breakfast

2023 Highlights

Education: Facilitated college tours for 57 youth

Shepherd Hall: Helped youth gain jobs, driver's licenses, and independence!

Family Engagement: Achieved 98% family satisfaction rate for the program overall.

Facilities: Replaced 5,500 feet (that’s a mile!) of sidewalk on campus

IT: Built a new Intranet site to improve communication

Human Resources: Launched our new DEIB Plan and introduced Online Open Enrollment

Marketing & Fund Development: Raised $3.2 million and coordinated 929 volunteers

Our 2024 Honorees

Board Member: Joanne Finnorn 

Child Advocate: Allen Jansen

Volunteer Group: Ally Financial

Mentor: Jenina Brown

Heartmover: Heather Reakoff

Foster Parent: Amchitka Hartfield 

Corporate Partner: Ascent Global Logistics

Good Shepherd of the Year: Lisa Pinkston

25 Year Anniversaries

A special shoutout to our team members who reached 25 years of service:

Danielle Perkins, Team Leader in Rose Hall

Renee Ambers, Youth Coach in Myriam Hall

Sheila Foster, Youth Coach in Beata

Kristine Durr, Intake Specialist

2023 Annual Report

Declutter for a Cause

Your Garage Sale Can Make a Big Impact!

Ready to turn clutter into compassion? If you're having a garage sale this summer, simply set aside a portion of your sale proceeds and donate directly to the youth in our care.

For more information, and for a flyer you can post at your sale, contact Betsy Beerer at: EBeerer3811@VistaMaria.org

or 313-203-4996.

A Prom to Remember

For the youth at Vista Maria, forming positive core memories during adolescence is a critical part of their healing journey.

Our teachers, staff, volunteers, and donors work hard to give our youth a normal high school experience filled with lots of fun memories-- including Prom!   

This year’s Prom theme was “The Great Gatsby,” so we brought out the pearls, fringe, and feathers and danced the night away!  

From dresses and hair to food and décor, we'd like to thank everyone who helped provide our youth with the memorable prom experience they deserve.

Clara B. Ford Academy teachers join the fun for this year’s roaring 20s theme.

Candid Campus

What better way to celebrate the end of the school year than with a picnic? Thank you to the Journey to Success team for organizing such a fun and relaxing kickoff to summer!

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