Hi my name is Kourtney and I am 28 years old. I grew up in the south side of Chicago in a town called Crestwood. I have two brothers and one sister. I graduated from high school in 2006. Shortly after completing high school I became pregnant with my son, Tyler.
Growing up, my family was dysfunctional. My parents split up when I was very young due to my mom’s addiction to alcohol and cocaine. I was raised by my father who was and still is an amazing dad. Growing up he worked 60 plus hours a week as a grocery store manager. He worked hard to care for us. I started drinking and smoking at the age of 14.
My pregnancy was a very challenging experience. My son's father was physically and mentally abusive which eventually led me to taking a variety of pain medications. It numbed me from all the pain. In 2010, I entered Everest College to become a medical assistant. Upon graduation I was a certified medical assistant.
When I first started heroin my addiction got very, very strong. Once I started using heroin with a needle, it consumed everything about me. It was all I cared about. I was at such a low point in my life I would use right next to my son. My father finally had enough of all the chaos I was causing and kicked me out and wouldn't allow me to see my son.
A couple of years after starting on heroin two close friends I attended grammar school with came and got me and brought me to Milwaukee Teen Challenge. Coming into Teen Challenge I struggled a lot. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done but it was worth every second. I graduated this past November at the banquet and the Lord has been so faithful.
I am currently an intern at the Women's Center and I am very grateful for what the Lord is doing in my life. His love has broken down all the walls that I have built up and filled me with so much hope, peace, and joy.
Today, one of the many scriptures that I stand on is Joel 2:25 "I will restore to you all the years the locusts have eaten" and that is exactly what He is doing. He has restored me and my family. I've fallen in love with my son all over again. I'm finally excited for my future and I'm ready to be the mother God has intended for me.
My name is Natalie and I’m 20 years old. I am proud to say I have found God, and there is no going back for me. Over one year ago I came into the program, a completely broken and lost soul. I had tried everything that the world had to offer me, explored every religion, but I was still left empty. I was facing prison time.
My name is Grace and I am 25 years old. I was born and raised in the south side of Chicago. My parents got divorced when I was 12 years old and it really affected me. I was very upset and sad that I had to be in the middle of my parent’s separation. As I got older I continued to carry this anger and darkness that followed me.