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NARRATIVES

The voices of our volunteers and graduates define our impact.

STUDENTS

Diana, Thistle Farms graduate 2023, Better Decisions graduate 2022:

One of the things I still think about from the class is how the way I communicate with people highly affects the outcome of the situation. If someone is wondering what they will get from Better Decisions, I would tell them you will see how your decisions can change your life and how you can learn how to make good decisions.  I am living in my own apartment for the first time in over 20 years.  I have my own vehicle and recently got a very good promotion at my job.  I can honestly say that the Better Decision class gave me tools that have helped me obtain all of these things.  It showed my a better way to approach situations, both with communication and actions.  I am very grateful for being fortunate enough to participate in this class.

June, Better Decisions graduate 2023:

The class was fun and vital to learning who I am and where I need inner growth.  The one-to-one sessions are amazing!  I've grown very fond of my mentor and that hour with her every week flies by.  I've gained so much from it!

Ginger, Better Decisions graduate 2023:

The class opened my mind to think through different ways of responding to stuff.  I use it a lot now.  The whole experience has been valuable because I learned that everyone has issues and just because we are in prison doesn't mean we aren't important or less than anyone out in the world.

 

 

VOLUNTEERS

Erin, Better Decisions mentor, teacher and board member:

The reason I continue volunteering with Better Decisions is that it reminds me over and over that the women we partner with are not very different than you and I. Rather, they are victims of where they grew up, the people they have surrounded themselves with, or just desperate to make enough money to feed their families. They have probably made some bad decisions along the way that have gotten them in trouble. The woman you partner with almost always appreciates that someone cares enough about them to spend eight weeks discussing and sharing ideas about how to make better decisions in the future.

 

Lisa, Better Decisions mentor, teacher and board member:

Each time I go through the Better Decisions program I learn more about the decision making process -- it's a lifelong skill we all need to practice! Add to that the privilege of witnessing at-risk women learn they don't have to react, but can take control of their lives by making better decisions and this program has given me much more than I have given to it.

Anne, Better Decisions mentor:

Not only has Better Decisions made a positive difference in the lives of many women endeavoring to improve their choices, it also has had a positive effect in my own life during the 19 years I have been a mentor.  While having the opportunity to encourage the participants, I have been helped in my responsibility as a mentor and in my own everyday choices.

Chelsea, Better Decisions mentor and board member:

It has been valuable getting to show up for and come alongside women who want to change the path of their life and learn the tools to do things differently.  It’s valuable and sacred that they jump right in and trust you with their story because they believe you have their best interest at heart and are there to support them on their journey.  It’s also valuable for me to review the lesson plans each week as I benefit from the decision making process as well! We’re all students together in one sense.

Carolyn, Better Decisions mentor and board member:

Volunteering as a mentor has been one of the most meaningful and fulfilling experiences of my life. Mentoring women who have not had the advantages, support, and love in their lives I have been lucky enough to have has opened up a new depth of caring in my heart. Providing them with a dedicated one-to-one learning and support partner to offer guidance as they navigate their difficult lives, makes a real and lasting difference. Unexpectedly, doing this makes a real and lasting difference for me too. The experiences we have together bring me great joy and gratitude for having touched each other’s lives.

 

 

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