Angela Norman, Washington, D.C.

“When I first arrived, I was depressed and overwhelmed. It was like I was stuck in quicksand, and the more I fought, the more I sunk deeper into an inescapable darkness. I knew that I couldn’t maintain my life like this. My case worker and I spent a lot of time developing short-term and long-term goals for myself. I really had to buckle down and understand the roads that led me to where I was, what I wanted for my future, and the best way to protect it and make it grow. That process sounds easy, but when you’ve spent years losing yourself in what others wanted of you and for you, you tend to lose sight of who you are. Saying you want to make money is fine. But you have to ask yourself, “Why is it I don’t have that money right now?” The best thing you can do is be honest with yourself. From there, the real work begins. The road blocks will come. Ask for help. The doubt will come. Ask for help. You will be discouraged. Ask for help. Working together, as is the motto for anything in life, makes the progression easier to manage. I started off homeless, with no job, former bills piling up, negative bank account...you name it. I accepted help from the SNAP E&T Program and was honest with them about where I was and where I wanted to be. It took a little time, faith, and determination, but today I am in school with a 3.4 GPA, moving into my own apartment, and working full-time with benefits. I still have a little more to cross off my short-term goal list, but compared to where I came from? All I can do is thank God and the help I received from the program.

—Angela Norman, D.C.