My name is Dessa and this is my story of hope.
I am a single mother of two and I am proud to say that I graduated from Hillcrest Hope in August 2015. It felt in every way like the program was designed for people just like me. Before I found this place of “hope” I was in an unhealthy marriage. I worked two to three jobs all the time to support my family. I had started my high school diploma, fifteen years after dropping out to be a full-time mother. I did all that I could to make sure our home was always clean and there was always food on the table. All the while, I ensured both my children had the opportunity to play sports and be involved in activities. When I finally made the choice to leave my marriage, it was because I believed that my children deserved a different environment, a different life, and a better future.
We moved around and landed up in Odessa, MO. I made sure my son and daughter got from there to Liberty every day to attend the schools they had been enrolled in and for my daughter to keep the job she had started. The year my daughter graduated high school, we had plans to move to Arizona. I was in such debt from the house we lived at in Odessa and just trying to stay afloat that moving was no longer a reality for me. I simply needed to get back on my feet, to take the first step. With no family to help, I was not sure what I was going to do. It was then that I heard about Hillcrest Hope. They came to my rescue.
We were able to come back to Liberty to join this wonderful program. For the first time in years, I found hope. I got a job as a Phlebotomist (medical term for one who draws and analyzes blood). My daughter moved to Arizona to start college and my son remained in the school he knew as his own. At Hillcrest Hope, with the amazing help from the program, I finally finished my diploma and enrolled in college. I learned how to better manage my money. Most importantly, I discovered “me,” someone I had never gotten to know.
My daughter will receive her Associates degree in Science this year. She will then go on to Arizona University for her Bachelors degree in Microbiology, specializing in Rare Disease. I am now working as a leasing agent for an apartment complex and have finished my first year of college. Life is still difficult, but I am very happy because I know my goals and continue to take steps toward them every single day.
If it was not for Hillcrest Hope and everyone who believed in me, I do not know where I would be. This is something I had never had that before. I have come to understand that life will not always be perfect, but it can always be better. I work each day to create a better life for myself and my family. It is when we are willing to learn from the past that we can build a better future.