Mariane Veillette learned perseverance at a very early age. Her family lived in a one-bedroom bamboo hut in the Philippines, where they slept on the floor. Living in a region of unpredictable and severe weather, their home was destroyed over and over again in heavy rain. But the family persevered to rebuild their home every time.
Mariane also learned responsibility at an early age, helping to provide for her family by becoming a nanny. She moved to China and lived under strict rules and conditions. She then moved to Dubai and livied with only the bare necessities and facing discrimination toward women.
But living in Dubai gave her the chance to come to America when the family she worked for made the journey – a move that would give her the opportunity she needed to take charge and build her own future.
After meeting and marrying her husband, Mariane moved to Georgia and discovered the Pilgrim’s facility in Ellijay. She recognized her potential for growth there, as she started out as a harvester and moved up the ladder to Quality Assurance Technician.
Mariane’s experience as a nanny proved valuable in the plant, giving her the personality and insight needed to work with and manage all kinds of people.
“You have to smile because you’re taking care of people,” she said. “You don’t want to seem unhappy, because they adopt those feelings, too.”
Her strength was tested once again when she learned that her daughter Sophia has Down syndrome. Mariane embraced her new normal and is grateful for Sophia and the people and experiences she has brought into her life. Mariane now works tirelessly for Down syndrome advocacy.
Through it all, Mariane supports her parents and teenage son – all of whom still live in the Philippines – waiting for the day when they can join her in the U.S.
Until that day comes, Mariane cares about the people she works with every day as if they were her family.
“What I feel at Pilgrim’s is they are like family to me … it’s my second home,” she said. “I love this job. I love these people.”