Parent stories / testimonials

Lili’s Story

I want to express a heartfelt “THANK YOU” for the program as well as the assistance that saved me and my son. You gave me the meaning of “New beginning”! “New Hope”!
 
My son and I came from out of state escaping a bad situation. I came from another country, coming to the United States with such big dreams, hoping to build my roots here in America.
 
I fell in love with my first and gave my heart and soul to this man. In my culture, when a woman marries a man, we give our loyalty, which I did. He made me believe that I was going to be safe and cared for, but it turned out to be a nightmare. After getting married it didn’t take long for my life and lifestyle to change drastically. I walked on the road in darkness with this man. I went from dreaming of a career in a world of working class to being a stripper and forced to do porn. I struggled in my mind to understand why this was happening. 
 
The situation took away my courage, my belief and my faith. I lived in silence pretending to the outside world everything was fine - even with my family. When my son was born, he gave me an understanding of who I was. I completely buried my soul deep inside my mind. I had to fight back but was too afraid to speak up. It took me a very long time to make a stand.  I was so deep in my dark life I didn’t know where to start. However, I did. 
 
Remembering who I was, I stood my ground. I finally reached out to someone and escaped with my son. I came to Florida with nothing but a few clothes. 
 
With the assistance from Florida DCF and Career Source and the Early Learning Coalition I was given an opportunity to make things right with my life. Now my life is slowly going back the way it should be. My son and I love our new life here in Florida where we can breathe and be happy. The Coalition has given  a lot of hope, not just for my son and I, but to all families who need assistance. 
 
Thank you for everything!!! You all have a special place in my heart!!!