Sunday, May 8, 2011

End of the Road... or First Step to a Dream?

The inspirational story of Theresa Taylor‘s four years that have changed her life, as reported in Saratoga Today May 6, 2011
March 17, 2007, 46 years old,homeless … living on the street for the past 6 months-- “I spent the St. Patrick’s Day blizzard, huddled in Congress Park, thinking I’d reached the end of my life.”

fast forward to
Friday May 6, 2011- preparing for her May 21st graduation from Schenectady County Community College and recipient of many honors including: one of 60 winners from across the country selected to receive $30,000 Jack Kent Cook Foundation undergraduate transfer scholarship, SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, College Service Award, 2011 Phi Theta Kappa All New York Academic team, and listing in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Saratoga Today quotes Theresa as saying, “A part of me always knew I had the ability to achieve this. I just never had the courage to go after it.”
How does someone get from being homeless, cold and “at the end of the road”… to success, achievement, and stability? … to echoing Theresa’s  pride as she says, “I’ve got a lot of medallions to wear around my neck when I walk across stage on May 21st.” Theresa credits Shelters of Saratoga for providing a safe supportive place to live. And she credits Project Hope and Power, a collaborative project between Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services (DVRC) and Soroptimist International of Saratoga County for helping her to set goals and take action to achieve them.
Part of Project Hope and Power involved keeping a dream journal. Theresa visualized herself working on her dream and succeeding, and with much tenacity and hard work she’s making those dreams happen.  “Four years ago I could never have dreamt of this,” Theresa’s words echo the way many participants in Hope and Power feel at the start of the program. Their hopes seem too distant, so different from where they are now, that they can’t even take the first step. And that’s what Hope and Power is about… learning to set goals and small steps to take charge of your life. The program has helped more than 200 women take that first step to transforming their life. As Barbara Lombardo, managing editor of the Saratogian and a dedicated Soroptimist who regularly volunteers for Hope and Power said when asked about Project Hope and Power, “The program could not be more aptly named.”   
Congratulations to Theresa for her accomplishments and may her story be an inspiration to others, who for just this moment, share that feeling of despondency and desperation that they’ve reached the end… may they know that there’s help out there and with support and tenacity they too can have a new life.
For more information about DVRC or Project Hope and Power call 518-583-0280.
For information about Shelters of Saratoga call  518-581-1097
To read the full article about Theresa Taylor in Saratoga Today visit http://saratogatodaynewspaper.com/saratoga-today-newspaper.php page 33
For more information on Theresa's inspiring accomplishmants visit http://saratogian.com/articles/2011/05/08/news/doc4dc75ada4c7cd553006625.txt

Related posts:  
About Soroptimist:
 About Homelessness:

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