More than an internship–A Life's Work!
This is a guest post by Amy Casper-Cornell, who came to Associated Ministries as an intern. We celebrate her presence with us during National Volunteer Week.
Being a kid was no walk in the park for me. I experienced my family members dealing with drug addiction, domestic violence and homelessness. We even resorted to living on a campground for several months. My young life was very chaotic, so it was no surprise that I had my first child at sixteen years old. I found a job and a place to live since I was responsible for my own child’s upbringing.
Life was good when I met the “perfect” man with a college education and good job and had a second child. Little did I know he was addicted to methamphetamine and would lose his job due to the drugs, leaving us to live on my minimum wage job. Unable to pay the bills we moved in with his “friend” who was in fact his drug dealer. With the increased access to drugs came the start of a new cycle of drug addiction, domestic violence and homelessness. I was stuck in it once more.
I was in a state of utter despair and wanted to break the cycle for my babies. I went to my mom who took me straight to the Crystal Judson Center to help in getting out of this cycle of abuse and being around drugs. I was embarrassed wearing my bright purple black eye and fearful he would find me, but I knew it had to be done. With the help of the woman at the Crystal Judson Center I soon had a safety plan, parenting plan and housing assistance. Within six months I was in my own three bedroom house and it was the first time in what felt like forever that I finally felt relief.
I knew with the housing I was offered that I wanted to become more than just another statistic. I wanted to make something of myself that my kids could be proud of, and make sure that cycle of abuse and drugs was broken. I received my GED, attended college and am now a certified peer counselor.
I am blessed to be doing my internship at Associated Ministries. My goal here is to help those experiencing homelessness and life’s trouble to get back on their feet and, more importantly, find their self-worth. I‘d love to someday become a domestic violence advocate and give back to the community what is has given to me.