With her GED and computer certifications from CWEE, Jessica landed two internships at Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services. With her foot in the door, Jessica knew she wanted to work permanently in the department — and she knew to get the job she wanted she would need postsecondary education.
So Jessica enrolled in a local community college, and now she’s nearly done with her associate degree in sociology, on the Dean’s list, and a member of the Honor Society.
Yet the peace and happiness of Jessica’s life today are a far cry from the painful, chaotic years of her adolescence and early 20s.
Jessica began using heroin when she was 17 and spent many years suffering from addiction and in an abusive relationship. Her two older children were born, and Jessica was unable to stop using. She lost custody of her kids.
Her recovery began the day she walked into a hospital and collapsed, sickened from a dangerous bacterial infection caused by injecting drugs. Jessica nearly lost her arm and had reconstructive surgery. Unable to imagine her life getting any worse, that was the moment that Jessica felt a kernel of determination and hope begin to grow inside her.
That determination and hope continued to grow, nourished by her friends, family and support from the community, including CWEE. Not only will Jessica soon celebrate her graduation from college — she will also mark nine years of sobriety in June of this year.
“CWEE helped me get my mindset right and got the wheels turning. I found my inner power, but it took support and love from other people to light that fire in me. But now I know I am capable. I’ll show my kids that we can do anything if we put our mind to it and work hard.”