I met Ms. Cassie Hammock in 2012 during the worst year of my life. I was recovering from an opiate addiction and had lost almost everything-my career, my self-worth, self-esteem, my freedom, and desire to live. She taught a class for women at the Leon County Jail where I was incarcerated for a crime related to my addiction. She talked about Beauty for Ashes, her residential program for formally incarcerated women dealing with addictions and other psychosocial issues. I was instantly drawn to her and her program, knowing that I had many issues that I had never dealt with from my childhood. Beauty for Ashes was a lifeline of hope for me. It gave me a reason to get up every morning. Ms. Cassie counseled me, mentored me, and encouraged me in a way no one else has ever done. I have maintained my sobriety since 2012 and am currently working on earning a PhD in psychology. I want to continue the work she is doing and help other “broken women” heal.
Addiction is such a cunning enemy of life, that I had lost the power to do anything about it, that is until I met Ms. Cassie Hammock through The Beauty for Ashes program. It was here that I received the proper tools and counseling to help me understand, learn, and battle my disease with drugs & alcohol. I began to understand that the drugs were just a symptom, my thinking was the problem, and with counseling and NA meetings, I could learn how to live a healthy and productive life without the use of drugs. Ms. Cassie took the time to educate, nurture and motivate the little girl in me that was lost from using. Today I stand before you 15 years clean, mother of 4, and a productive Lab Assistant 2 at Capital Regional Medical Center in Tallahassee, Florida. Without the help of Ms. Cassie Hammock and Beauty for Ashes Program... “OH WHERE WOULD I BE? NOT HERE!”
Before finding out about Beauty for Ashes, I was incarcerated, and thinking about what my life would be once I was released. I knew I did not have a safe place to return to, and that was a concern. An inmate gave me Ms. Cassie’s number and that began my journey of change. The counseling I received made a positive impact in my thinking. I was never made to feel that I was not in control. I was taught that I could change my behavior when I changed my thinking about who I am. Today, I have a stronger relationship with Christ, living a sober life, and have launched my own nonprofit organization called After the Sentence, which collaborates with Beauty for Ashes 2.0.