Maribel De La Rosa

For nearly 15 years, Reading Legacies has been dedicated to fostering togetherness, family, and community connections.

This is the inspiring story of Maribel De La Rosa, a mother who found her way back to her children after incarceration. Discover how Reading Legacies’ Book Bridges Program and the Sheriff’s Reentry Services Division played a pivotal role in her transformation and journey to new beginnings.

Through the Sheriff’s Reentry Services Division, Maribel participated in one of over three dozen programs aimed at preparing individuals for their return to the community. For Maribel, the 15 minutes she could spend reading to her four children via recorded video was a lifeline. Reflecting on her incarceration, she says Reading Legacies was “the way for me to reconnect with my children.”

Since her release, Maribel has become a valued member of the Reading Legacies team, working in our Book Bridges Program. She now records other incarcerated parents reading aloud to their children at home, helping them maintain those crucial family bonds.

Maribel’s story is a testament to the power of resilience, transformation, and the enduring love between a mother and her children.

Stories on Website Titles in Emma Sophia

This holiday season, we are privileged to have Tommy Gomes, star of Outdoor Channel’s The Fishmonger, sharing his personal journey of separation from his family and the transformative power of reading in rebuilding connections and creating enduring bonds.

Tommy’s story, gained through 10 years of incarceration, highlights how a simple act of reading together with a child can maintain familial ties, transcending distance and circumstance.  

We invite you to watch the video below to explore Tommy’s narrative and support our mission to provide similar experiences, building connections for families in our community.

Tommy Gomes Photos (1)

Tommy Gomes and his daughter, Delanie

At the core of our mission is the belief that supportive relationships can be facilitated through the simple yet impactful act of family and friends reading aloud with children.

As expressed by Delanie Gomes, Tommy’s daughter, “Reading Legacies is so important for families because it builds a connection when you might not be able to be in front of that person. That little moment of having the same book and reading with each other… it builds a lifelong connection.”

Even five minutes a day, as emphasized by Tommy Gomes, can be instrumental.

Your generous support of $100 can contribute to providing books and creating lasting read-aloud memories for four San Diego families in need.

Join us in making a difference and fostering supportive relationships through the joy of reading. 

Nicole Vargas

My name is Nicole Vargas. I joined the Reading Legacies team in January 2023. I have a BA in Child Development from Point Loma Nazarene University and 6 years’ experience working with children from ages infancy to adolescence. My role as the Storybook Readers Program Manager is to oversee the programing and implementation of our Youth Readers and Storybook Inspirations programs. As a child development professional, I have firsthand experience seeing the immense impact that reading aloud to children has on their early literacy skills and relationship building within the family and community. One of my favorite children’s books is If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff.