Clovis Adult Education
Nominated in 2022
Stephanie started her drug addiction at the age of fourteen. She became a prostitute at the age of twenty-seven. She has been a victim of childhood sexual abuse, domestic abuse, a child victim of a broken home, and a victim of adult homelessness. She is no longer a victim of her past. She has learned that the past doesn't define who you are or your future. She has grown from battered and abused, strung out and ashamed, to a woman who values her worth and believes in a God who loves and redeems. She has been sober and free of prostitution for eight years; she broke the cycle. She is a SURVIVOR!
When she was young, she had many dreams, but along the way those dreams faded away. Once she got sober, she began to dream again. She went to recovery meetings, outreach events, and church. She did everything to build a new life.
She got a job working with a cleaning company where she started at the bottom and worked her way up to supervisor and training manager. She will be forever grateful for the six years there and to the company for taking a chance on her.
She recently went back to school to further her education by obtaining her high school diploma at Clovis Adult Education. By doing this, she started to fulfill a dream in her heart of becoming a social worker. In order to accomplish her dream, she put together a plan of education that would allow her to reach her goals. She graduated on January 7, 2022. She started attending Clovis Community College on January 10. Her goal is to transfer to Fresno State University to obtain a bachelor's degree, then a master's degree, and finally a PhD in Social Work. She feels by becoming a social worker she will be able to be in the perfect position to help somebody change their life the way she has done with her life.
Her dream of becoming a social worker stems from the hard life she has lived. Because of that life, she knows just how deep the need is for more people in this line of work. She wants to be able to be a light in a dark situation and be a beacon of hope to people in need. If she can help just one person, man or woman, child or family who are suffering from drug addiction, alcoholism, sexual abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking, go from feeling trapped and victimized to feeling empowered and free as a survivor, then she will have accomplished something beautiful.
As a role model, your job is to lead by example and guide those who need help down a righteous path, lifting them up along the way. She considers herself to be a role model for her family because no matter how tough life got for her or how far down in her addiction she was, she didn't stay there. She didn't give up. She got up and fought her way back to life, back to them, back to sobriety. By doing this she hopes she has shown her family that it is never too late to start over. Stephanie prays that she did not only do this for her own family, but that she can also do this for any person she meets who is struggling with something in their life.
It's never too late to dream again and not just follow your dreams but to chase after them. By getting sober and staying this way, she has shown her family that miracles do exist if you continue to believe in them. By going back to school and pursuing her dreams, she is showing her family that anything is possible if you just focus on something bigger than yourself. By choosing to become a social worker, she is showing her family that it is okay to let your past struggles lead you if they are taking you to a positive destination.
Her life has been one long journey and there are still many adventures left in her story that haven't started yet. There are still many things left to accomplish in life and she is excited for each and every one of them!