Ronnie's Story

Imagine. It’s ten o’clock at night. It’s dark. And you’re in the middle of a cemetery. You’re also five-months pregnant.

This isn’t Halloween, and you didn’t just make a wrong turn. As a single mom of two, this is your home – its where you and your children live…open, exposed, vulnerable.

Your name is Ronnie.* And your scared.

* * * 

That’s how Ronnie came to us after a local crisis center referred her to 10ThousandWindows. She was frightened, hopeless, and unsure of how to change her circumstances.

But after she joined our Job Readiness Training program (JRT), both her outlook and her attitude changed. She learned that she had more options than she imagined, and her doubt was replaced with optimistic determination. After she graduated from the JRT, she applied to our scholarship fund for an alternative high school, aiming to pass the exam so she could get her degree and find a stable job.

As she studied for her exams, she worked in the Social Enterprise Program (SEP) so she could earn enough money to support her siblings and children. Deciding against putting her baby up for adoption (her original plan), she instead entered a transition house where she continued to study, work, and prepare for her future.

While Ronnie lacked a lot in her childhood, her tough background gave her one clear advantage: strength. She studied and worked hard. She became a good example to her peers. And no one was surprised when she passed the high school exam, because she had put so much effort into it.

Passing the exam gave her a new weapon: confidence. Ronnie now understood what it felt like to believe in oneself, which made her ready to conquer her next challenge: getting and keeping a job.

A short time later, Ronnie was offered the opportunity to work at a data and technology company, and it required her to complete three months of training before getting a paycheck. But she persisted. She used the savings she earned from working in the SEP to bridge the gap.

Because she lacked a formal education, tackling spoken and written English was a big challenge. She studied all night – even sleeping with her dictionary! – to ensure she would pass; which she did!

Ronnie has been working with the data company for more than a year now. And she recently enrolled in a BS of Social Work program – further investing in herself and her family’s future.

Ronnie is a story of hard work, persistence, and second chances. She no long sleeps in a cemetery. She’s still safe and still free.

 

*pseudonym

Open a window of opportunity for others like Ronnie.

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Patricia

20 years old / Junior Data Analyst

Jordin

21 years old / Junior Data Analyst