My LGSH story begins a long time ago; in fact, it begins on my day of birth. I was thrown into a complicated life with drug and alcohol addicted birth parents, placed into foster care and then adopted by the foster parents I was originally placed with, and put back into the system a few years later. This cycle was continued with my own children when I became an addict myself. I finally got clean from alcohol and drugs and truly wanted to better the lives of my children and myself. I have been clean for almost 12 years now and see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, for you to understand my time at LGSH and the impact it has had on me and mine, I must give you a little more background information.
In October 2016, my three children, Nick 24, Alex 10, and Mily 6, lost our hotel room we were staying in, due to some decisions I made, which turned out not to be the best, although they were thought out and from the heart. We, thankfully, were accepted into a program called Family Promises in Newport. This is the only family shelter in N. KY, and we felt absolutely blessed. This shelter assisted me in getting a job, (which helped with my self-esteem), housing (LGSH), and school (online). While I have worked many times at many different jobs, this one was crucial for the well-being of our family. My son Nick watched the younger children while I worked at Kroger’s in Newport. It was at Family Promises where I heard about Lincoln Grant Scholar House and I reached out to them.
Shelley and Karis were absolutely amazing when I met them! I went to the library in Covington for the orientation meeting where I found out all the requirements and rules. These ladies gave me the idea of using the talents I have, including bilingualism, to rise above our situation. They made it so easy to get whatever I needed, and assisted me in everything. I almost didn’t apply because my older son couldn’t come with me, but after having a conversation with him, I did. Since being at LGSH, I have either been on Dean’s List or above at Gateway, I have gotten more experience in my field of social work, and been more excited about the future. Life is still not where I want it to be, but it seems more attainable and more manageable. I have more of a support network, I have more confidence, and my children are happier than they were a year ago. We are all better adjusted, have an enormous number of friends, and although we receive an astonishing amount of love, we give so much more back than we ever thought we could. LGSH has changed our lives simply by believing we could and showing us a healthier way to succeed. Shellie and Karis give support and love, but they also give us that steadier, harder hand when needed. When I feel like giving up, they are there to help me figure my way to get back on track. It’s not always easy to accept change, but this program makes true success possible.
When we moved into our brand-new apartment, we had literally an air mattress, and a few changes of clothes. Shellie and Karis set up donation drives where we could get furniture and other household needs, as well as a Wii system to entertain the kids. We were also given a household basket donated by the Human Services program at Gateway. When we leave here, we as a family, will continue to grow and give back to LGSH because we believe in the program and what it is doing. We have become a family, the scholars and volunteers and staff, and we are known throughout the community at the Lincoln Grant Scholars. We aren’t just numbers or statistics or residents; we are really scholars. We are scholars in our own lives, we are scholars of the community, and we are becoming scholars in our chosen fields. Many of us, including myself, are in the “helping” field. I am a scholar of life and our family has become a scholar of giving back.
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