It all started 17 years ago when, as a new graduate, I joined the Modern Montessori School as a counselor. I found out early on that if I was to become an effective counselor to my students, and if I was to make a difference in their quality of life, I needed to offer them a comprehensive service of assessment and complete treatment programs.
Working with my students and members of my staff made me see the large amount of work required to integrate our special needs students into the school and the society at large, to help them face the challenges of life, to identify their strengths and recognize their weaknesses, and how we could make other students appreciate and understand their dissimilarities and support their special needs to include them in the body of the school as builders, not a burden to society.
To help me further understand our social structure and cultural stigmatization, I jumped at the opportunity to join a newly-established center of psychological and educational consultations and training. I worked at Al Murad center for seven years, which was an insightful experience. During that time, I was able to continue my studies and obtain an MA in Clinical Psychology and another in Special Education, which allowed me to offer a multi-disciplinary service.
My 17 years in the field of psychological consultation and working with special needs students at the Modern Montessori School and Al Murad Center triggered a deep sense of need for change within me. I decided to establish a center that can provide a new approach to the challenges that so many people in our society face, day in day out, whether psychological, educational, or social. I felt an urge and a will to make a difference for the betterment of my society, its people, men, women and children.
The establishment of the Maria Den Braven Center comes as a fulfillment of a dream that has lived with me throughout my career. I promised myself that this center shall make a difference in Jordan and the region. I promised myself to exert every effort possible to make a difference in the lives of our people. I promised myself to put together the most capable team of professionals with experience and expertise who have impacted the lives of many people and shared my dream throughout my career.
It is thanks to Ms. Randa Al Hasan, the Modern Montessori School Principal, my professors and partners at Al Murad Center, Dr. Tayseer Shawash and Dr. Fawzi Tuaimeh, my lifelong colleagues at the school and the center, my patients and children, who have enriched my life and to whom I am grateful for making it possible for me to pursue my career with passion.
I decided to call the center after my husband’s late mother, a Dutch lady who set out at an early age to serve humanity through being a nurse in many corners of the world, and who dedicated her life to make a difference in the lives of her children. It is her life story that inspired me to set as our center’s goal “The will to make a difference”.