Juanita knew that the only way to save herself and her children was to leave Texas and all of the negative influences behind. She and her two children arrived in Des Moines in 2013 and landed at House of Mercy where Juanita entered and successfully completed the 5-step residential chemical dependency treatment program.
In September of 2015, Juanita’s family joined the Home Connection Program to begin the second phase of this journey. Finally having a place to call home, Juanita now had the stability and the time to plan for her family’s future. She enrolled in the social worker program at DMACC and went to work, literally, getting a job waiting tables part-time while attending classes. Her goal: to be a chemical dependency counselor.
Having graduated from DMACC in 2015, Juanita then began her specialized curriculum at Grandview University to continue studying for her chemical dependency counselor degree. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work in May of this year and is currently employed full time as a chemical dependency counselor at Bridges of Iowa, where she interned while going to school.
The future is looking brighter every day for Juanita and her family. As Juanita continues to work on paying down her debt and saving for a new, more reliable vehicle, she is also committed to giving back to her community by volunteering when she can at House of Mercy and speaking and advocating on behalf of those battling chemical dependency issues. In the spring of 2018 she will begin studying for her Master’s degree in Social Work.
Juanita’s children are also doing very well. Her 8 year old daughter enjoys elementary school and is an excellent student. Her son graduated from high school this year. Right now both kids are enjoying the summer!