Toya Graham, mother
Toya Graham, a West Baltimore resident, was propelled into the limelight as the Baltimore "hero mom" last April after WMAR footage showed her disciplining her son, Michael Singleton, after he attempted to participate in the riots at Mondawmin Mall.
The clip, which showed Michael dressed in all black with brick in hand and Graham chasing him away while slapping him and cursing, resulted in an influx of interview requests, TV appearances, travels out of state, job offers, celebrity meetings and a host of promises for Graham, including a scholarship for Michael.
But few promises were kept, Graham said, and the mother of six said she's back to trying to make ends meet.
"I'm still a mom. I still have my six children, and we still have to do what we have to do on a daily basis to keep our heads afloat," said the 43-year-old, who most recently appeared on the "Steve Harvey Show" in March. "To this day, a lot of people still think that Oprah gave me a mansion and that I have all this money and Michael has all of these things, and that's just not so."
Graham, who was unemployed at the time of the riots, got her certified medication technician license late last year and now has two jobs working more than 80 hours a week in assisted-living homes in the city.
On April 1, she moved into a larger home in Druid Heights with four of her daughters and a granddaughter. Her son, Michael, now 17, started job training at the Woodland Job Corps Center in Laurel this month in hopes of becoming an electrician. He'll be visiting Baltimore on the weekends, Graham said.