For this month's story, we spoke to our former student, Maggie.
Maggie is from the valley, growing up in Glenwood Springs; she describes herself as a "good kid but very rebellious!" She found herself in Rifle when she was twenty-two, moving here with her three-year-old son.
When Maggie became pregnant with her daughter, she felt that she needed some help. Without any reliable transportation or baby-sitters, she became a part of the TANF program (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).
"I was a single mom to my son, about to be a single mom to both of my kids. I was scared, alone, and I didn't know what I was doing, or where I was going!"
Maggie was welcomed into the program through TANF. She remembers the program being "relaxed, but put together. They had a way of making it all work. They believed in me. They never gave up on me. They picked me up when I was down, and gave me all the supplies and support that I need to go back to school and continue on with my education."
Since her time with us at GarCo, she has become a Certified Nurses Aide (CNA), working with veterans in the area.
Balancing a career and motherhood is difficult, but much like our other students, Maggie makes it work. "I don't know, but I make it happen. I have a lot of family help."
Feeling grateful, Maggie "remembers where I came from and where I'm at now." She tells us "that with the right support and motivation you can do anything you put your mind to. I used drugs until I got pregnant with my son, and to see where I’ve come from since then is amazing! If I can do it anyone can! Seven, almost eight years sober, and I wouldn't change a thing! All the bad things that happened in life, happen but you can change who you are and what you want out of life! If you would have asked me eight years ago where I would be now, it certainly isn’t where I am. But I’m proud! I broke the cycle! I overcame so much. I have survived so much."
"Sometimes in life, bad things happen, but I have the right coping mechanisms and support and love to overcome anything life brings! GarCo and the TANF program, and all the classes, and just everything they were able to help with turned me into the woman I always wanted to be -- the best mom I can be! I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the GarCo team!"
Meeting Maggie and seeing her transition into a state that she's proud of is the reason that GarCo exists. She reminds us that asking for help is a courageous act. She also reminds us that we aren't in this alone, and working together brings joy and strength to everyone involved.