I grew up in an emotionally and physically abusive household. My parents offered neither emotional support, nor positive interest in my future. The older I became, the more I lost interest in my future as well. I turned to drugs and alcohol and began hanging out with older friends who introduced me to heroin at 16 years old. Almost immediately, I was hooked. I began stealing to support my habit and eventually turned to prostitution when stealing was no longer enough. I continued this cycle of self-destruction and abuse from men until the age of 21.
After years in and out of 12-step programs, I finally got sober. However, I had no family support, and with no education, I struggled financially. I was working over 50 hours a week just to pay my bills. I just wasn’t able to cut my hours in order to attend college. Around 3 years sober, I was blessed with the opportunity to be accepted into Pathways to Independence.
I wanted to start a new chapter in my life and take action for a better future, and I finally had the tools and support necessary to achieve my goals.
Seeing a therapist through Pathways helped me to start believing in myself: that I deserved to be successful, that I was capable of earning a degree. My mentor has been my biggest cheerleader, and I am able to see a psychiatrist for help with my medications. I am currently preparing to transfer to a 4-year university as a Chemical Engineering major, and I am forever grateful for the help Pathways has given me.