We want to brag a little bit about Treddie, one of our favorite success stories. Back in September she won a scholarship from the Dallas Foundation, and we thought you’d like to know more about her.
She’s a Chickasaw Indian, and grew up in Oklahoma. After her mother abandoned the family, Treddie became the victim of repeated abuse, including incest. As an adult, she overcame her painful childhood to pursue a successful 20-year career in nursing. Unfortunately, as so often happens, the ghosts of her childhood trauma finally came back to haunt her. She began self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, and because of her drug abuse eventually ended up homeless. She was homeless for 5 years until her substance abuse treatment program referred her to the Housing Crisis Center. With help from HCC’s Permanent Housing Services program, she was able to get her life back on track. She’s been clean and sober for 6 years, and has discovered the therapeutic value of creativity.
After seeking advice from her tribal elders back home in Oklahoma, Treddie decided to become a welder–an unusual choice of professions for a woman, to be sure. Only 5% of welders in the United States are women. She enrolled in the Welding Technology program at El Centro College and has never looked back. She wants to specialize in TIG welding, a manual process that requires the use of both hands. It’s considered the most difficult welding process to learn. Treddie refuses to listen to the few naysayers who resisted her foray into this mostly-male world, and is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree with a goal of eventually owning her own welding company.
With help from the Housing Crisis Center, she learned how to handle the ups and down of everyday life. Says Treddie, “Through HCC, I learned the coping skills I needed to start over. HCC has helped me in ways that I can’t even explain. They changed my life completely! Now I have the security of knowing I have a home to come to and that there’s a safe place for me. Whatever I do in the future, whatever successes I have, it’s thanks to HCC.”
What an inspiring story! How many of us can even imagine not having a safe place to come home to? We disagree on one point, though–it’s Treddie whose courage and determination put her on the road to success. We just gave her the map!