Voices of Hope – Athena Swygert

In a classroom packed with current Ready4Work clients, Athena Swygert confessed to spending the years between 17 and 39 addicted to meth. “I took for granted everything I had. I didn’t care because I was an addict. I stole. I cheated – and they took my children.” She paused and took a deep breath before continuing.

“While in prison, I heard about Operation New Hope and thought it was too good to be true. But it’s not! They offer fantastic skills and classes. If you just take them and let them sink into your soul, it will work. It gave me the foundation I needed to stay where I needed to be and to go up.”

Athena now has her own place and earns $14.00 per hour, working as many hours as she likes with opportunities for overtime. “I now have my children back. And getting my kids back and seeing them fuss and fight and argue and drive me absolutely crazy is the best thing ever!”

She then told the class, “If you want to change you can. Trust me. You have to take everything they teach you and really apply it. I can now say I am a changed person.” Smiling, Athena continued. “I have to give a lot of credit to God and to this program for helping me. Everybody in this room is special. You have a meaning and purpose in your life. Don’t let anyone tell you different. I hope and pray for everyone that you will be able to achieve the things I have.” 

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