It has been almost a year since Amy passed the GED exam and earned her high school equivalency diploma (HSE). She worked extremely hard, week after week, with her math tutor Emily. She reached a goal that she didn’t even believe was possible until the moment it happened. But from my perspective, earning the HSE was the beginning of Amy’s story, not the end.
After the high of that great achievement — which was supposed to get her on the fast-track to a better job, higher pay, and more financial security to support her kids as a single mom — she was pulled down again by her criminal record.
Every time she was turned down for a job because of her record, the promise of a better future seemed to be slipping away again. But this summer, Amy finally found her path in a job that is fulfilling, meaningful, transforming her life, and transforming her community.
"It’s officially the end of my first two weeks at Sunrise Community and it feels like a dream. If it is, I don’t ever wanna wake up. We went to a recovery rally in Cherokee today and it was UNBELIEVABLE! I was in the massage booth getting a massage and I cried. I was so overwhelmed with emotion because I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to have fun! We ate, we danced, we sang, we played and we just had so much fun together. I love this job so much. And I’m so grateful for all of the things that did NOT work out that led to this.
It’s so crazy how life is made up of so many seemingly small choices that lead to life altering experiences. Good or bad. The day I chose to reach out to you for help with my GED was the beginning of something miraculous. It led to a life I never would have imagined having. […] And if you get the chance, please relay my appreciation to Emily. And let her know I made it." ~Amy