I found a family
December 4, 2018
Before Project Gabriel, I was in an abusive relationship -- physically and mentally. I was scared to talk to my family and close friends because I was so ashamed and embarrassed about what people would think of me.
I needed help.
I’m the type of person that makes everything seem like it’s alright when it’s really not. I was working on and off with a temp service job, late on bills, my car had broken down. I was going through a lot at that time. I found out about the Gabriel education program (GEMS) from my cousin Jasmine.
She was already in the program when she, her sister and I got together. When we do, we always have a deep talk about relationship problems, what’s going on with our kids; you know "girl talk." She mentioned GEMS to me, and I asked her who I needed to speak to join. Two weeks later, Miss Jessie Anne called me welcoming me into the program.
All the classes were very resourceful; but what touched me the most, what made me more interested in the next classes, were the GEMS ladies -- how outspoken they were about their life; how everyone was different in every way, but we all had a story. I wasn’t alone. I could talk to someone about the things I was ashamed of and embarrassed about.
The class that impacted me the most was "Dignity and Self Esteem." I remember plenty of days, just staring in the mirror, thinking I was ugly, I wasn't good enough for my abuser, and that no one will want me because that's how low he made me feel at times. When I started going to the GEMS classes, I would come home and tell him about what subject we talked about in class. He would get so mad, as if he didn't want me to find my worth. I knew my worth, but I was afraid to leave. The more classes I attended, the more I gained the courage to finally leave. I prayed, and I stepped out in faith. I left everything and asked God to protect me and my kids. Whatever He had in store for me I would not complain! I'm humble, but I know my worth.
The GEMS program gave me strength, a positive perspective about life; it helped me be confident in myself again. I learned to love myself, to seek help when I need it, to put God first in whatever I do, and to be a role model for my kids. I only like positive people around me, and I try not let negativity things get me down.
I plan to use my GEMS scholarship to start a business, making t-shirts, tutus, tote bags, hair bows, etc. I have been blessed with a creative mind. I had a few customers, but I slowed down because I didn't have the right equipment. With the scholarship, I can take a business course and get the equipment I need. Then I can make t-shirts for everyone in GEMS!
I am very thankful for GEMS and will continue to be part of the program not just for the classes, but for their support and resources. Without them, I would probably still be in the same situation I was in before I started. GEMS is like family to me. Thank you all for what you have done for me and my family. xoxo
In Her Words Testimony
by Tiara Campbell
Project Gabriel Mom and
GEMS Scholarship Recipient
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