I was raised in a strong Christian household by my grandparents. My mother’s absence, the death of my father when I was 5 and a great admiration for my grandparents, left me confused and conflicted about who I was. I felt rejected, unwanted and desperate for acceptance. My life began to split in two. I tried to earn my identity through accomplishments by graduating High School, then college with honors, then receiving a Master of Education and ultimately becoming a High School English Teacher. On paper, my life appeared to be successful. Unfortunately, my reality was vastly different. In order to deal with my internal distress as an adolescent, I started drinking and smoking weed at 14, became extremely promiscuous and had 2 abortions before I was 18.
Throughout college, my drinking increased and the guilt over my poor choices resulted in 2 more abortions. As a professional High School English Teacher, I was a twenty-year functioning alcoholic, addicted to crack and pain killers, and homeless. My family stepped in with an intervention and ultimatum. I went to the Hoving Home in New York, a Teen Challenge center and surrendered my life completely to Christ. The 12-month program was exactly what I needed to help me discover who I really was and help me to work through the pain of my past experiences and choices.
Upon completing the program, I was hired as a full-time staff member at that center. I was honored to have an opportunity to give back what had been given to me. Over the course of 8 years, I was the Facility Manager and Principal of Education. I accepted a promotion to become the Associate Director of the Pasadena California Campus for Hoving Home. After 2 ½ years, I was given the opportunity to combine my passion for curriculum and my desire to help others at the Adult & Teen Challenge National Office as the Curriculum & Publication Coordinator. The impact that faith in Christ had in my recovery was essential. I would not have been able to break free from the addiction without the power of Jesus.