BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Overcoming the odds. Despite living with a drug addicted mother, Baltimore musician Mario did just that and now he’s helping city students with their struggles.

Andrea Fujii shows us a new program that kicked off Wednesday.

Singer Mario is outspoken when it comes to his mother, who was a heroin addict. Now, through his “Mario Do Right Foundation,” the Baltimore native is taking what he’s learned to the classroom.

“This is his way of not only giving back, but it’s therapeutic for him as well,” said Kevin Shird, Mario Do Right Foundation.

The tenth-grader– whose identity WJZ is concealing– is one of 12 middle and high schoolers from the “REACH! School” participating program.

She’s here because of her mother.

“Sometimes it’d be on my mind like, ‘Why is she drinking like that?’ It’d make no sense,” the student said.

Mario hopes the 15-week course will allow students to share their struggles of living with a family member’s addiction while promoting a drug-free lifestyle.

“Preventive measures show kids what that could do to your life personally and how to deal with that so that you don’t fall into the same situation,” principal Michael Frederick said.

Every so often, Mario will talk to the students through Skype and even join the course in person.

For many of these students, more than the singer’s involvement, it’s a way to get through the pain.

“It lets me know that I’m not the only one going through something,” a student explained.

After the 15-week course, the students will be mentored for another two years.


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