Molly, 26 years old, is currently in our Clothing Bank Creating Excellent Outcomes (CEO) Job Training Program. She is a Delaware native, raised in Wilmington, and in her early teens began mixing with “the wrong crowd.” She spent most of her adolescent years in and out of juvenile detention centers, with her first charge at 13 for robbery, until she turned 18 when she became an adult. At this time she was put on probation as she had aged out of the juvenile system. She was first charged as an adult at 19 and spent 3 years in prison on a drug possession charge. When she was released, she was quickly incarcerated again for another drug possession charge.
As an adult she wanted to be independent and have her own money so she turned to selling drugs. She mentioned how she was addicted to the money she was earning. In 2021, she was charged with violating probation which led her to spend another 2 years in prison. As Molly reflected on her youth she said, “Every time I went to jail I said to myself ‘how did this keep happening to me? Why does this keep happening to me? What am I doing wrong?’ But I got something out of it every time. I learned something new, whether it was about myself or about the learning process.”
The last time she was incarcerated she realized she was seeing the same thing happen over and over to her. It was the same officers, the same food, and the same rules. Molly said, “In my mind I’m like, ‘I’m getting too old for this.’ I kept doing the same thing and would get the same outcome. I said to myself, ‘Molly you got to get it together. If not I’m either going to die or be serving life or end up in the ICU the way that I’m going. I’m 26 and have spent my whole life in jail.’”
When Molly came to our Clothing Bank through Work Release, a program from Hazel D. Plant Women’s Treatment Facility, she realized she had so much to learn and experience. “I never got to live. I never learned about credit, about bills, none of that. Still to this day I am learning new stuff and learning what’s out there,” Molly added. Through our CEO Job Training Program, we have helped Molly realize she deserves more. Molly spoke to this saying, “I want more for myself. I want to know what else is out there. When somebody’s talking I listen more than I talk. I take heed to what they’re saying. I don’t try to turn down information. I want to retain it.”
Molly has learned a lot while she has been with us and we can see how she is growing with the impact our program has had on her. Specifically she spoke about how Cheryl, the Clothing Bank Director, has had a positive influence on her. “Ms. Cheryl keeps me motivated. She is just a great woman overall. I appreciate her because little does she know, she really saved me from a lot,” she said. The volunteers that come through have also had a significant impact on Molly. Getting to speak with different people every day and hear their perspectives, she has been able to learn from all of them and enjoys getting to know each volunteer who comes through.
She is still working on herself as she continues her journey, and we are there with her every step of the way. She aspires to eventually become a motivational speaker to talk to youth about substance abuse and domestic violence and help them avoid the paths she had taken. When asked what advice she has for them, she said, “I would tell them life is too short, live for you. Live your life to the fullest.” Her next steps include continuing in the CEO Job Training program to continue growing and learning. She is also starting school again in the fall to complete her GED. She hopes to be able to get into real estate and eventually have her own house and car. “More so I am getting it together, day by day, you gotta crawl before you can walk. I’m pacing myself, taking my time, I’m soaking up all the wisdom FH is giving me. For me this is a learning experience. I really came a long way,” she said.