In 1998, I was released from the Travis County Correctional Complex in Del Valle from my very last incarceration. For 30 years I lived on the other side of the law. I had gotten a college education, held positions such as systems analyst, but I was doing drugs and led an alternative lifestyle the whole time. Eventually that lifestyle took me to the bottom. I had been incarcerated all over the US and Europe. I was a great actress and became more and more embroiled in the criminal lifestyle.
At the age of 40-something, I was a parent, dysfunctional, addicted, and lost as how to come back to society – not knowing if I would ever be able to re-enter.
Once I made my decision, I found there were few community support programs specifically for ex-offenders, and those that did exist were poorly funded. I found my niche. Now I provide housing for women and have my own non-profit. I redirected my professional career and I am now a counselor assisting others who want to make that career change. It was only through the Reentry Roundtable, and other similar organizations, that I was able to become a successful businesswomen, instructor, counselor, and give back to the society that I had turned my back on for so many years.