When I enrolled in my adult education high school 3 years ago, I was newly sober and had a small inkling of hope for something better in my life. The road ahead was hard, between relapse, jail, rehab, and sober living, along with tragic life events. I’m so grateful to my teacher for working with me.
When I found myself pregnant and with nowhere to go, Casa Teresa took me in and showed me what a real home feels like. I felt safe and I was surrounded by people who encourage me. The staff here made sure that I had everything I need to succeed in school. Since arriving here I’ve been learning new habits and unlearning bad ones while striving towards the goal of graduating.
In my third trimester, I remember propping myself up with tons of pillows to get comfortable enough to read and complete my assignments. For my final assignment, I was asked to write a paper, a narrative essay about a life event. My daughter was 3 months old at the time and I thought, “What better life experience to write about than her birth story?” She is what keeps me going and striving for better. She is a huge part of the reason I have my high school diploma today, so it is very fitting that the final project I submit is all about her. My daughter attended my graduation ceremony with me. She watched her Mama walk across that stage and accept her diploma! Although she won’t remember it, I will and I’ll forever treasure that moment.
This is only the beginning for me. I’m so excited to further my education! I’m in a certification program now for Office & Accounting and I plan to go to college. I love learning, I always have. During my time at Casa Teresa, I’ve learned more about myself than anything. I’ve learned to rely on my own judgment and my support system, rather than my emotions, to make good decisions for myself and my daughter. I’ve learned to trust the process, to never settle, to be a woman of my word, and to always have a goal to strive towards…and have some fun!
Through reflection and intentionality, I have made life-altering changes. I thank Casa Teresa for always believing in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. And for showing me consistent love and support. I’m grateful for the opportunities that Casa Teresa has shown me and more importantly, that I am worth going after them!