Addiction recovery success stories may appear simple on paper, yet the turmoil endured by those who struggle with this rapidly growing mental health condition say otherwise. Meet Pamela, a valued team member at Second Chance Initiative since January 2021. After suffering through hardships involving her past, as well as a global pandemic, she finally got the break she so desperately needed and today is on her way towards pursuing a career in Communications. Pamela’s story displays the internal and external difficulties that women in recovery face as they work hard to rebuild their lives.
In her youth, Pamela was prescribed pain medications for a chronic condition. Over time she grew addicted and eventually went on to use dangerous street drugs- an expensive habit to maintain. “I committed a number of crimes, and although I was given chances to redeem myself, I failed at every attempt,” Pamela says. Eventually, she hit rock bottom and received a three-year sentence at a Florida State Prison.
Following her release in February 2019, Pamela struggled acclimating to regular society and getting a job. She lacked confidence and communication skills plus she had a felony conviction record to boot. Over the course of a year, she attended too many interviews to count, and when she was finally hired as a technical support specialist, she was swiftly let go when the 2020 global pandemic swept in.
However, Pamela did not lose hope and reflects, “the universe rewarded me for my hard work and persistence” when the charity she leans on for affordable housing referred her for work with Second Chance Initiative. As a participant in our Wellness Works program, she has overcome the shame and fear of rejection that she, like many women in her shoes, develop as a result of the difficulties they face getting a job in early recovery.
During her time at Second Chance Initiative, she successfully completed a Software Development bootcamp and technical internship. She built an app, curated an electronic portfolio, and is currently applying to schools in order to complete her bachelor’s degree. Most recently, Pamela was promoted from Fulfilment Specialist to Social Media Coordinator, a role that she is deeply passionate about and compliments her future career goals.
She credits Second Chance Initiative with helping her prove to herself that she indeed has what it takes to make a positive difference in society. She has learned that recovery is full of ups and downs but that with hope and perseverance success is possible. “I count my blessings every day and continue to get up after setbacks. Second Chance Initiative promotes from within and gives an opportunity to each woman working here. We need more programs like this as it has potentially saved my life and helped me make a successful transition back into society.”