Upon my release, I started to contact Portland State University and advocate for support to get in the counseling program. I really wanted to get back into school but wasn’t successful in getting responses, so I started looking for jobs in the trades.
I was released from Coffee Creek on May 20, 2016 and did not have a place to go. I ended up living in a halfway house until my parole officer would approve the housing situation with my family. I started to look for work and got temporary jobs as a labor worker. I also completed the Oregon Tradeswomen program. I bounced around from one construction site to another for about a year and now I have a permanent position. This is a physically demanding job and I always do my best and appreciate the opportunity. I support these trade programs unconditionally because women are very capable of doing these type of jobs in our industries in Oregon.
More importantly, I see the world differently and want to share this experience with others and try to tell my story to help others feel supported when facing drugs and violence in their lives. I feel it is my responsibility to help reduce domestic violence and help people facing mental illness and addiction in the community. I also want to be an advocate for those considering suicide.