After serving 7 years in a Florida state prison I went to work in hotels. I was released February 5, 2014 and I had held continuous employment since March 7, 2014. I worked my way from a part time housekeeper to supervisor of housekeeping where I was able to employ other formerly incarcerated women. Not only could I employ them, I could offer support and training that almost always led to women leaving the hotel to work better jobs, or return to school. I continued to work hard until I became an assistant manager in 2016. I held this position up until a month ago where I became the Central Florida Organizer with New Florida Majority to be apart of the effort to restore voting rights to over 1.6 million people, myself included.
In addition to working with the campaign to educate the public and humanize felons, I have also successfully started a local reentry program that will serve all the needs of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and girls. As an affiliate of the National Council for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and girls, I've been able to obtain training, tools, and support to actively fight to end the mass incarceration of women and girls. As a formerly incarcerated woman I have learned to take the challenges and things that appear impossible, and transform those obstacles into opportunities for personal growth and experience to help others. I have the pleasure of not only living my own dreams, but the ability to facilitate others through the process of coming into their own visions and developing the skills to making visions realities.
Me and my two children have just recently moved to Gainesville, after leaving a marriage that was unhealthy for both me and my children. Since being in Gainesville, me and my children have only been able to get temporary housing. Due to a lack of resources and opportunity I have only been able to get from one pay check to another. I have not had the training nor the access to get me and my children ahead when I was first released. Although I am making good decisions and doing good things in my community it is a challenge when I am unable to support my family, and even more of a concern when I am so behind that I cannot pull myself up. Its literally a feeling of drowning.
I am reaching out to my community for the support to overcome this obstacle and help put me and my children in a place where we can build on what we have and stop grasping. The inability to save and practice good money practices often leads to more opportunities to set us behind. I am requesting 5 thousand dollars to secure safe and stable housing, reliable transportation, and to secure car insurance, and health insurance. I will also use this money to catch up on my immediate bills so that we are not behind, and I can pay my bills without stress. This would give me the freedom to invest in our future and make different choices. I need this support now more than ever as I am starting up a nonprofit reentry program and while we are beginning and raising money, it is important to me that I am focused and free to represent my organization and be an example to the women I serve. I need this support, so I can be able to get myself in a position where I can, and then do what I'm asking of you for another woman. It has taken me a long time to ask for this support. I felt unworthy and convinced myself that I could do it all on my own, but that's not the truth. I believed that needing help meant that I must be doing something wrong. The truth is that I am doing a great job and I do need some help.
Helping me means I get the freedom to focus ALL of myself on me, my children, and my greatest love, my community. This gift will truly continue to give. I used to be afraid of money. I choose now by asking, not to be afraid and I chose to have financial freedom too! Please help me to help myself. This stone is too much for me to move alone, but once removed it will forever be a pathway to financial security and freedom!
I wish that I didn't have to ask this. I wish that the world saw how invaluable money truly is compared to all the amazing gifts that life can give. Through suffering, and much of it self-imposed, I have not only learned, but I LIVE and PRACTICE daily integrity, smiling, intentional thinking, compassion, truth, love, laughter, self-love, leadership, persistence and forgiveness. But the truth is, you need money, and money is something that I have NEVER had. I am looking forward to tomorrow, because I do believe that I am able to seek the things that I need for me and my children, but also maintain them. I look forward to the moving of this boulder! For truly where I walk, there also walks my children and my community.
With much love and absolute total humbleness!
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