Veronica, First Apprentice, First graduate, New Staff
Veronica was the first trainee registered in the Boaz & Ruth program (December 2002). Her “life-lab” was to run the sales floor for the first B&R Harvest Store. Today Veronica stands with strength and pride in herself and has just been hired as a full staff member to coordinate our newest collaboration which will double the size of our program (August 2006).
Veronica explains that it wasn’t always like that: “When I came to Boaz & Ruth I was victimized by my bad choices.” In Dan Kline’s class on Becoming a Loving Person, Veronica learned that “I didn’t know how to love… I constantly made my choices based on what others expected of me” in order to win acceptance.
Veronica describes the change in her life: “I am no longer the victim…I am breaking free of my self-imposed prisons.” At Boaz & Ruth she learned that relationships take work and effort, including her relationship with the Lord, which has become her bedrock. “I didn’t know I could interact with God and tap into that relationship as a source of support."
The fruits of Veronica’s insights about how to live successfully are evident. After graduation in February 2004, Veronica stayed on as a post-graduate to help B&R build capacity. She was chosen by the National Governor's Association Prisoner Reentry Academy to serve on the Financial Obligations, Financial & Community Resources, & Housing Subcommittee on Reentry.
Veronica’s keen ability to glean wisdom from whatever class or person she is exposed to and reflect on how all the pieces fit together, makes her a real asset to this important committee on criminal justice policy. Her most recent contributions have been to preparing reports for Boaz & Ruth AmeriCorps Endeavor (BRACE) and setting up B&R's eBay sales program. Her overall goal is “to give back what has so freely been given to me."