Two years ago, I was a participant at the Women’s Bean Project. It was one of the most positive experiences I’ve ever gone through. For many years prior to the program, I lived a crazy life. I came from an intact home, with great parents and awesome grandparents. I attended Catholic school and graduated from East High. I went to college and eventually worked in the Denver Public School system. I grew up in a strict household that always stressed the importance of education and responsibility, however, I found myself hanging with individuals who were a lot more street smart than I was. I found the street life exciting and the partying was always non-stop. There came a point where I put myself in dangerous situations both mentally and physically. I would leave the state without telling my family or go on a party binge with my boyfriend for days and neglect all responsibilities but when you live the “fast life”, you don’t think of consequences.
I was in toxic and abusive relationships with men who were controlling and manipulative. I’ve been beaten so bad that I was unrecognizable. Eventually, the relationships led to drinking, drugs, and an altercation that got me arrested and introduced to the judicial system. I lost my position with Denver Public Schools and would have more run-ins with the law. Once you obtain a criminal record, it’s difficult to find employment. I job-hopped for a few years with no real direction. In 2013, my past came back to haunt me when it was made very public that I had a history. Not only was it humiliating to me and my family, it embarrassed certain state agencies and I was banned from ever working in a classroom again. I had pretty much lost all hope and then divine intervention brought me to Women’s Bean Project. [Read more].