ASHLEY, PRODUCTION ASSISTANT SUPERVISOR

I’m a recovering meth addict. I grew up where drugs were present. My mother became a single mother of four. She worked full time and didn’t have much time to give us the discipline or structure we needed. I discovered drugs. I fit in, in that whole scene. I always felt like an outsider at school. I started using drugs, I stopped going to school, no one was there to steer me in the right path.

I battled with that addiction for years, ever since I was 16. It became the only thing that I knew. I just really couldn’t accomplish anything in my life because of that. I always had a job but it would soon end because of drugs. I didn’t have my high school diploma. And at that age that’s all you know and what you continue to go back to.

When I started to come clean it came out of complete desperation. I was homeless, I had nowhere to go and I didn’t see a way out, I really didn’t. And then when things eventually got bad enough my sisters offered to help me get into rehab and at that point I was ready, you know? That gave me the little hope that I needed. And so I attended a 90-day in-patient treatment where I set goals for myself and learned some of those coping skills I didn’t have, that I needed to be able to deal with life. I was committed at that point to changing my life.

When I got out of rehab, I had kind of burned my bridges. Even with my minimal criminal history, arrests and a couple of misdemeanors it was still hard to find a job. When I started my job (at Dave’s Killer Bread), I really enjoyed, coming in here. People remembered my name. They saw my work ethic, how hard I worked - that was noticed. It really gave me the confidence to start learning something new and start to accomplish my goals slowly but surely.

I’m attending college. I went back and got my GED after I started working here and I got it with honors. That was a really great feeling. So that enabled me to go back to school. Today I get to give back and share my hope and my strength with others struggling with the same battle that I fought. That’s really what keeps me going because I know there’s hope for a better life.