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Change for the Children

“My children were my motivation. When I wake up, they’re the first things on my mind” Mother to twins Janeya and Jovanni (now 3), Carmen became a prostitute at age 14 to support her cocaine habit. She got sober while pregnant with the twins, but relapsed after they were born, eventually ending up homeless due to her debilitating addiction. She learned about Saint John’s from her friend Antoinette, an alumna…

Hope and Healing

“You give it your all and it works; it changes your life.” Let’s face it… we may have certain images in mind when we think of “the homeless.” Stereotypes are part of life, but, so often they simply categorize without helping us to look deeper. Such is the case when you meet Mandy, a single mom with two teenage boys, Robby (15) and Caleb (13). Wearing a pretty dress and…

Seeing from a Different Perspective

Life can be hard sometimes…and for some, much harder than for others. Some things we can control, while some things we cannot. Imagine, then, being born with a severe visual impairment so that you could never see things unless they were extremely close to your eyes? Imagine your eyes always moving, but never seeing clearly. You use braille but can also read, as long as the print is extra large,…

Rebuilding my Family

“Saint John’s taught me how to be a mother again, and they provided me with the skills I needed to have a career.” After the death of her mother, Natisha was overwhelmed with stress. She began experimenting with drugs and settled on meth to mask the pain. Over the course of her 10-year addiction, she lost her job and her apartment and was living in a tent by the river…

Piece by Piece

One of the challenges of memorializing the life of a Saint John’s graduate is how to capture the real story. These women have come from places and pasts so drastically different from our own, and yet, they are more full of hope and happiness than most anyone you have ever met. That’s what makes their stories so powerful. After graduating from Saint John’s, Shayla moved away to start a new life….

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