Jasmine, 21 years old with sparkling brown eyes and a mile-wide smile, was kind enough to share her Daybreak experience at our Champions for Youth breakfast and luncheon fundraisers in November 2015. Jasmine delivered her remarks with confidence, greatly impressing the almost 500 guests in attendance.

In March 2012, shortly before turning 18, Jasmine had to leave home. She stayed with various friends and relatives at first. After graduating from high school that May, she headed to St. Vincent’s shelter for homeless women.

While at St. Vincent’s, Jasmine was surprised to learn that that Daybreak could help her. Though she’d stayed in Daybreak’s shelter as a younger teen, she didn’t realize that Daybreak was even an option for an 18-year-old.

Jasmine was happy to return to Daybreak. She entered our housing program and readily admits she was lazy at first. Fortunately, she listened to advice and welcomed guidance from Daybreak staff. Before too long Jasmine began to believe in and live up to the potential we knew she had.

Jasmine worked at Lindy & Company, Daybreak’s pet treat bakery and work-readiness program, as a first step to finding a job. Her time at Lindy’s gave Jasmine enough experience to get a job in the community. Today she’s proud to be a certified forklift operator at Proctor & Gamble.

“I might be making this sound simple, but it wasn’t easy,” Jasmine told the guests at our Champions for Youth events. “There were many bumps along the way. I was using drugs, spending more money than I was saving, and trying to please others. I wasn’t being the Jasmine that I could be.”

Jasmine’s biggest bump was when she let friends bring drugs into the apartment Daybreak leased for her out in the community. That’s grounds for immediate eviction, so we had to evict her.

Jasmine was given a choice. She could move back into one of the apartments in our building, where she’d be more closely supervised, or she could leave the housing program and go out on her own.

Jasmine decided to find herself an apartment and go out on her own. Even so, Daybreak staff were still available to help and guide her. Today, Jasmine still meets regularly with the employment team.

Jasmine assured the Champions for Youth crowd that she’d learned valuable lessons from her mistakes and failures.

She closed her remarks saying, “I think the biggest think I learned at Daybreak was that I can be self-sufficient. I now am a certified forklift operator at P&G, I have my very own apartment, I bought my first car, and I am proud to be taking care of myself. It feels great to have become successful in my life, and it is because of Daybreak and all of you that I am standing here before you today.”

Even if you weren’t there to hear Jasmine speak, keep in mind that her thanks extend to you too. Through your support of Daybreak, you played an important role in Jasmine’s growth and achievement.Truly, Jasmine wouldn’t be where she is today without you. We can’t thank you enough for your commitment to our kids.

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