After talking with Jessica for a few minutes, her enthusiasm for the future is palpable. However, that wasn’t always the case.
Two years ago, Jessica, her mother and her two younger brothers had hit a “rough spot” as Jessica calls it. They were living in an abusive home, facing constant yelling and fighting. “There were times when I didn’t want to be there, there were times when I would just stop at the door,” Jessica said about her previous home.
Jessica lived with fear and anxiety. Her mother worked at the Wal-Mart near their home and would walk to and from work late at night. “I would sit at the kitchen table and wait for her to come home, it was terrifying for me,” Jessica remembers. Jessica’s day consisted of taking care of her brothers, which included cooking and cleaning and left little time for her to experience childhood.
In the summer of 2014, Jessica, her mother and her two brothers left their abusive home and sought help from SAMMinistries. “When I came to SAMMinistries my anxiety went away. Now I feel like I can have a childhood,” said Jessica.
Before arriving at the Transitional Living and Learning Center (TLLC), Jessica had nightly nightmares. Her nightmares have since stopped, and she no longer has to worry about her mom’s safety. “I don’t worry about my mom anymore, I know she is safe here at SAMMinistries,” Jessica said with a smile.
Jessica’s dream has always been to care for animals as a veterinarian. With help from SAMMinistries, Jessica has had the opportunity to visit the San Antonio Humane Society and learn from veterinarians first-hand.
Last Thanksgiving, Jessica received a letter of acceptance from Texas A&M Kingsville where she will pursue her passion for veterinary science when she starts college in the fall.
As she and her family prepare to move out of the TLLC and into their own apartment, Jessica looks back on her family’s shared room with gratitude. “It isn’t where you live that makes you, you make yourself. I’m still Jessica, I’m a person, just like you.” Thanks to your support, Jessica is a person who will be able to follow her dreams and continue to give back to her community.