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Outstanding TMI Social Worker Marisa Horner Celebrates 15 Years of Transforming Lives

Marisa Horner

As a Social Worker with the Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) Family Support Services (FSS) program for 15 years, Marisa Horner has seen firsthand the impact that our services for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities can have on their lives. She shared her passion with us and what keeps her motivated.

Q. What interested you about working at TMI?

A. TMI Assessment and Intervention Services Coordinator Tracy Guzman persuaded me to apply at TMI. After working at San Diego Regional Center for two years, I wanted to work more directly with clients and their families.

Q. What is your favorite part about working at TMI?

A. By far, the part that keeps me going is seeing our clients and families rise and succeed. One of my passions is advocating for our clients and families that are in crisis and need our assistance.

Marisa and FSS Social Worker Raymond Ducumos volunteering at the TMI Gala
Marisa and FSS Social Worker Raymond Ducumos volunteering at the TMI Gala

Q. What challenges do you and/or our clients face?

A. During the pandemic, many of our families were faced with having their children at home and attending school on Zoom. Also, during this time, our in-home services were provided remotely and it has been challenging for parents to feel comfortable having us in their homes. We also have clients who are homeless and feel hopeless, but we are doing everything we can to assist them.

Q. How have you handled the challenges?

A. I try to go with the flow and do something good for someone else every day. Difficult times are what teach us how to handle the next tough time. Life would be so boring if we were all perfect.

TMI FSS Director Paola Osuna with Marisa
TMI FSS Director Paola Osuna with Marisa

Q. How does making a difference in the lives of our clients make you feel?

A. It is satisfying to see our clients thrive and enjoy a life that makes them happy, have good friends, and be proud of their hard work and accomplishments.

I am fortunate to work with a phenomenal team of Social Workers, Behavior Consultants and FSS Director Paola Osuna. Even through difficult changes in staffing, we all work as a team, and continue to focus on the needs of our clients while mental health issues are at an all-time high. It has been a blessing to work for TMI and our clients.

Paola shared this with us: "Marisa's passion for the individuals that we support is seen in her service delivery. She is an amazing advocate who builds strong rapport with our clients and their families. Her ability to provide person-centered services in a strength based manner is a true value! Our team is proud of Marisa and look forward to her continuing to make a positive impact on the individuals that we support!"

We are very happy to have Marisa with us transforming lives. Congratulations on 15 years, Marisa!


As a licensed Resource Family Agency (Foster Family Agency), TMI provides Resource Family placements for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as additional innovative and trusted programs to meet the needs of the children and families we serve.


Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing since 2000. In 2020, we launched Disabled Veteran Employment Services. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.


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