Network Norwich and Norfolk > People > Former street worker's delight at graduation

Former street worker's delight at graduation

Maria Landon graduation2Former Norwich prostitute, now best-selling author, Maria Landon, has celebrated receiving a City College Norwich degree from actor and writer Stephen Fry at the city’s cathedral. 

Maria came from a broken family; her mother walked out when Maria was young, leaving her in the chaotic and violent care of her father who was a pimp. Maria's childhood innocence was stolen forever when her father forced her to become a prostitute in the Norwich red light district when she was still a schoolgirl, aged just 14.

Maria has documented her story in her book Daddy's Little Earner and a subsequent book Escaping Daddy is about her healing journey and tthe steps she took to recovery.

Maria feels that her graduation marks the fact that "Daddy's Little Earner" is finally no more.


She said, "I know we do not all need to obtain graduations to become acceptable in this world but for me, the girl who was born to be a prostitute, this was a wonderful day of celebration. 


"I had the remarkable priveledge of celebrating my achievement at the Cathedral on 23rd October and receiving my BA Hons in English Literature and Cultural Studies from the wonderful Stephen Fry who also had a remarkable testimony to share.


"It is amazing how God has brought me this far and sitting there in the glorious cathedral with my fellow graduates, I finally knew the past was behind me. I just kept thinking 'Daddy's Little Earner ' eh? .............God says NO!"


Maria was accompanied at her graduation by the senior pastors Tom and Denise Rawls of Proclaimers church in Norwich where she attends. (pictured with Maria above). Maria has been well supported by her church family throughout her studies. She became a Christian about two years ago and has been encouraged by positive and loving role models in her church.


She said, "I am continuously overwhelmed and humbled by the ways in which God blesses me in my growth and journey with Him. But further than that I am so excited to know that what He has done for me He is continuously willing and indeed eager to do for eveyone. Praise His glorious name as He breaks down those walls!"


Maria continues to work with STEP as Outreach manager working with women caught in the sex industry and she is currently working on her next book True Identity which is expected to be published next year. 


Visit Maria's website at

Click here to read an article by Maria about how churches can reach out to women in the sex industry

Tom & Denise Rawls (Guest) 03/11/2010 17:29
A big congratulations for Ria!! You've done so good! What a great achievement, we're so proud of you. T&D
Theresa, (Guest) 03/11/2010 18:12
Dearest Ria,
When I read the title, my immediate reaction was 'why does the label still have to be!' then I thought a little longer and realised that our God knew the destiny and pathway you were to lead, through no fault of your own (how can a child make such decisions), no they cannot. My heart aches to know what you actually went through, then my heart leaps to know how our God has and is using you! Be joyful Ria, lift your head up, shoulders back and reflect how gracious and wonderfully blessed we all are to know you and share the journey our Father has set you on!! You have such a wonderful label now - a precious GEM who brings light into so many lives that only experience darkness and pain. Isn't it just wonderful that we know that 'our past is not our future.'
kelly (Guest) 03/11/2010 19:02
i have know ria for many years and can honestly say your such a lovely woman im so proud of you ria and for welcoming me into church, keep it going your a real angel gods special one love and respect to you xx kelly
John (Guest) 04/11/2010 11:00
Beautiful, Well done.. God works miracle in people's life. God is open to everybody no matter what background people are from. Good Luck with your career. A truly inspirational story.
Steve Gaskin (Guest) 04/11/2010 13:53
Congratulations. God is great! You are a shining star in Christ's Kingdom!

Well done!

Sharon Plummer (Guest) 04/11/2010 16:24
Ria, I feel so proud of you, you are an amazing and inspiring lady who its a priviledge to know. Your earthly Daddy let you down but all the time your Heavenly Daddy had an amazing future lined up for you. What the enemy meant for evil, God has turned around for good. Cant wait to read the next book.
God Bless
Sharon x
Owen Morgan (Guest) 05/11/2010 12:55
Congratulations Ria!
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