Children face all sorts of difficulties and challenges in their day to day. How they approach these issues plays a large part in determining the outcome. It’s not uncommon for some to misstep, creating identity issues further resulting in different forms of addiction. So how best to deal with important decisions when young? N. Carolina’s tough love approach to childhood obesity wasn’t the least bit effective and with all sorts of informative PSA’s out there, record numbers of eating disorders still occur far from the catwalk.

Marlo Gruber lived through issues such as these, as well as her share of problems with relationships, illnesses and financial hardships. She had grown up in Belleville, NJ before moving to my quiet little suburban hometown of Harrington Park, NJ. In Belleville, people got along with “just enough” which kept them grounded but the scene in H.P. was quite different. Marlo quickly learned that having the stuff isn’t (and most importantly shouldn’t) be everything. Such was the impetus of W.I.N. as what’s often portrayed on the outside, is far from what occurs within.

As an adult, Marlo has developed the W.I.N. (wish, imagine, nourish) program to support and assist children that are going through difficult times. She told me “I didn’t see any support for the challenges kids face, with the struggle to keep up with the false identity society often portrays. As a child I felt compelled to follow & conform to fit in. Trying to be someone I was not. I knew I had something unique to share but allowed it to diminish, to “look” good. I now see my daughter and her friends going through this same struggle and my passion has now been ignited”.

W.I.N. is a step by step program identifying each child’s individual needs. The program “has them focus on the PURSUIT of what they’re trying to achieve, building character by applying self discipline, commitment, responsibility, creativity, virtue, & confidence.” Backed by a NJ Psychologist and Pediatrician, Marlo’s program provides them with the tools to build the individual that they want to be.

Nothing spells success better than that.

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