Many of our clients here at Riverside House had life goals and plans before they made a mistake that caused them to wind up in prison. Much of what we do is provide resources that can help restore hope in our clients so that they can continue to pursue their positive life goals when they complete their time with us.
One of our clients recently shared her story about how her life was derailed by a mistake she made with a man she loved, but how she still plans on pursuing her goals in life due to steadfast determination and hope that has been cultivated at Riverside House.
Here is her story.
It is true that you may never know how your life will turn out in the end. Throughout my life, I was always goal– and family-oriented. My family is of Caribbean background, which meant that they instilled in me values such as having faith, prioritizing education, maintaining morals and discipline, and the importance of a well-rounded upbringing. I grew up with my grandmother, but I knew both my parents very well. At the age of 20, I joined the United States Army to serve my country and to pursue my lifelong goal of becoming a lawyer.
During my military experience, I deployed to a combat country (Afghanistan), and I was ranked the highest female in several awards. I was also the youngest person in my battalion to earn the rank of Sergeant in two years. Unfortunately, all of these things don’t seem to matter when you make one big mistake. I made my mistake in 2017 by allowing myself to fall in love with the wrong guy, and by allowing him to persuade me to get into trouble.
However, I’ve learned to take the good with the bad. Through this situation, I found out who my real friends are, and I discovered that people who I thought were really my friends were not when they left me high and dry.
My ultimate goal is still to become a lawyer. Even though I am in the situation I am in, with all the negativity that I have dealt with from the guards in prison and the negative people all throughout the prison, I still believe that I can push through and accomplish my goals. My advice to everyone is to not let anyone stop you from accomplishing your goals. I will not let my past define me. I will push through and become an Immigration or Human Rights lawyer!
Thank you, Riverside House, for all that you have done for me on my journey.
Please consider supporting us as we continue to help ex-offenders find a more positive path for a second chance at success. You may contribute to our organization financially through a donation, or you may sign-up as a volunteer or join our Young Professionals Committee to help us reach our fundraising goal.