Nina lived her life knowing she always had enough money to cover expenses and the
means to get what she needed.
When she and her husband divorced her life changed dramatically. The emotional burden
of the divorce weighed on her heavily and she became very depressed.
Initially, Nina received alimony to cover living expenses for her and her daughter. As she moved
forward and worked towards re-defining her life as single woman her economic lifeline was cut off.
Her ex-husband moved out of the United States and was no longer required to pay alimony. Nina
did not know how to live without the income she was used to—she had always had financial security.
“There was nowhere to go. I didn’t have many friends here.
They moved from their large family home into an apartment. Nina took a position as a reserve
flight attendant—reserve employees are not guaranteed a full week of work. Her daughter was working
and contributed to expenses for a while, then she moved out to live with some friends. With not enough
income she fell behind on her bills and was facing a two week eviction notice.
“I was thinking of suicide. There was no way out of this.”
She went to Boulder County Housing and Human Services and they referred her to Sister Carmen Community
Center. She met with our advocate Jen, and left that day knowing her rent would be paid and she had some
time to find an affordable living situation.
“I had to admit I needed help. My life was different now.”
She also left with food from our food bank and a list of things that she could do to help herself.
“The first time Jen took me to the food bank, I cried. I could see other people in the same situation
and how lucky we are to have that.”
Within a few months Nina moved in with a friend as his roommate. She was so relieved to find an affordable
living situation and pleasantly found herself feeling at home.
“There is life after despair. I am proof that you can do it.”
Through this transition Nina realized her life holds a new richness and life is not about “What you live in
or what you have.”
“When you look in your purse and only have $5 to last the whole week your perspective changes.
I appreciate the small things much more. Food. Eating.”
As Nina continues her journey her eyes and heart are open to new opportunities and to learning something
new every day.
“I’m thankful I have a job and I love what I do.”
She is working hard to advance within the aviation industry to secure better pay and a solid schedule.
When asked whyshe chose to work in the flight industry, she said:
“I used to hate flying, and I can’t explain what happened. I was looking for a big change— maybe
confront some fears and over comet hem. If I’d stayed married, I never would have done that. Being
forced into a new situation made me see life differently.”
Her greatest hope in sharing her story is to encourage women in a similar situation not to be ashamed of
their circumstances and it is okay to ask for help.
“I feel eternally grateful of the support I received at SCCC.”
With confidence and a new found resiliency Nina is looking up towards the sky and helping others confront
their fears along the way.
“I love watching people fly for the first time. They always look kind of terrified. I tell them, ‘look
out the window—it’s beautiful.”
As a community, we can give the wonderful gift of dignity, hope and gratitude and the opportunity to soar.