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“I was born to addicts and came from a very broken, abusive home. I didn’t have hope. By the time I was 25, I had 4 kids. I had periods of sobriety, but struggled with my own addiction. My choices landed me in prison by the age of 28, and I was faced with a choice – I could continue a life of crime or change my life. I desperately wanted to be a good mom to my kids and knew that if I didn’t start being obedient in prison, then I would have no chance when I got out. I made the choice to be placed in the faith-based dorm at FWRC and became an assistant character coach. Once I comprehended that I’m the main component of my story, I learned discipline and self-worth. After prison, I was accepted into Lydia’s House where I could continue to focus on my recovery and growth.
“I found out that Operation New Hope had opened a new program location in Orlando 6 months after I was released, and that’s where I found my confidence. Since I’m now a convicted felon, I felt so overwhelmed by all the barriers. But the team showed me that there are people willing to hire, and because of all the successful clients that had gone before me, I knew I could do it too. I got help with transitional housing, mental health counseling, career training, and getting my license. The mock interviews were amazing and helped me overcome being nervous. It’s not just a job for the people who work at Operation New Hope – the entire team pours their hearts into helping others.
“Since graduating from the Ready4Work program, I’ve completed my GED and enrolled at Orange Technical College where I earned by CNA license. I plan to take the NHA exam for phlebotomy and EKG at the end of May. I volunteer at Greater Footsteps Foundation and pour myself into kids to let them know I’ve been on the streets but now I can give back. I continued to meet with my therapist weekly, and she helps hold me accountable. My kids are doing great, thriving with their grandparents, and I am working hard to be a good mom for them.
“I keep my prison ID right on top of my daily devotional as a reminder of the pain and know that one bad decision can take it all away again. But my focus is on the future and being the best I can be. Now I have hope!”
At Operation New Hope, we believe that we are all better than our worst mistake, worst day, or worst decision. We believe in people’s ability to transform their lives through commitment and hard work. We see it every day as we support our clients’ reentry and growth. With the skills learned and confidence gained from our Ready4Release, Ready4Work and Ready4Success programs, our participants go on to become productive community members and build successful careers earning living wages. Read more stories of transformation, success and hope!