“Believe in yourself and keep moving forward. The road blocks will move.”
Krystal’s life back in Virginia was stable and comfortable with a well-paying job, large house, nice car and everything she and her son needed. However, her life took a sudden turn when she lost her job and could no longer sustain her family. With reluctance, Krystal decided to return to Colorado, where her mother lived, as she and her eight-year old son needed a place to stay until she could get back on her feet. Going into this situation Krystal knew that it would not be sustainable emotionally.
As a single-mom and unemployed she needed some extra help—and having nowhere else to turn—she came to Sister Carmen a year ago for food and clothing. From there, she was referred to Maryann, the Center’s onsite Mental Health Partners’ therapist, as well as to Candice, one of our Individual and Family Advocates. Candice became and essential resource for Krystal, helping her identify and strategize the short-term goals that would help Krystal achieve her aspirations of having independent housing, a stable career, and a good education for her son.
It’s nice to have support here when I don’t have it anywhere else. It has really helped encourage me…I get support from Candice that I can’t get anywhere else.
That’s one thing Sister Carmen showed me: that there are people out there who care.
The guidance Candice and Maryann were able to give Krystal helped her start to regain ground and feel more hopeful for her and her son’s futures. Still struggling to figure out how best to approach her son’s Attention Deficit Disorder, she attended our Nurturing Parent Program. These classes awakened her to the fact that she herself was not raised in a supportive environment and she had some work to do on herself to make the life changes she yearned for.
Before the Nurturing Parenting classes, my confidence and self-esteem was really low. So was my son’s. Now I have more confidence and so does my son. I’m able to give my son love and it’s changed our lives.
Krystal is very proud and profoundly moved by the changes she and her son have made together through this program. As a parent she developed a new sense of self-awareness, increased her parenting knowledge and skills, and started building, what she describes, as the first strong, solid relationship she has ever had with her son.
She also observed that as her outlook on life became more positive—as she gained confidence and more lightheartedness—she saw these same qualities reflected in her son and in his relationships with his friends and classmates.
When Krystal first came to Sister Carmen, she was disheartened and depressed. Over the course of a year, Krystal has worked extremely hard to come a long way and has a lot to be proud of. She recently graduated from a job training program with the County, and she continues to actively seek self-growth and skill-development opportunities. She optimistic that she will be able to attain safe and stable housing through the Family Self-Sufficiency program. Additionally, although currently unemployed, Krystal is determined to return to school and find a meaningful career that would allow her to remain in Boulder County, in main part so that her son can finish his education in the Boulder Valley School District.
I look at Facebook photos of my son and me together and think about where we were before. Now, my son is smiling in photos and I think, ‘it might not be perfect now, but it’s the best it’s ever been.’
Krystal now sees herself as a role model in her immediate and larger community; through her own actions and transformations, she shares with others the skills and knowledge she has found to be so valuable and life-changing. Most importantly, she is building a new relationship with herself and her son, one that will lay a strong foundation for a future where they can both realize their hopes and dreams. She now looks with confidence and optimism on her life and what she will achieve.