A New Life of Giving Back.
Helenia has spent 20 years in prison over four separate sentences. Each of her terms in prison was the result of substance abuse, a multi-generational addiction in her family.
But while serving her last sentence, Helenia became determined to transform her life.
Seeking every opportunity to become more educated, Helenia earned the Sunshine Lady Foundation scholarship while incarcerated and received her Associate’s Degree from Piedmont Valley Community College in May 2015. She then enrolled in every course offered in Resilience’s Entrepreneurship Program at her facility. Through her courses with Resilience, she earned certificates from Darden upon graduation in May 2016 – credentials that would open doors for employment opportunities and further education.
Beyond acquiring the necessary skills to manage her personal finances or start her own business, Helenia’s experience in the Resilience classroom was empowering.
“Resilience Education and the Darden MBAs helped me to discover the potential I really had, helped to build my self-esteem and confidence, to believe I could do anything I set my mind to.”
Using her Resilience education, Helenia saw an opportunity for action in the similar struggles of those around her. She hopes to give back to recently released women by creating her own nonprofit called Seeking Higher Employment, or “SHE,” in order to better prepare them for getting and keeping a job, as well as connecting with employers.
Today, Helenia works as a house monitor at a transitional home for juvenile girls in Washington, D.C. and is set to complete a bachelor’s degree in social work from Marymount University in May 2019.