Ashante was taken away from her mom at the age of five, grew up in and out of foster homes, was split up from her siblings, molested, and eventually ran away when she became pregnant at the age of fourteen. When she ran away, she ended up living in an abandoned car with her newborn in Chicago, selling drugs in order to sustain the two of them. Because she was underage and knew of nowhere else to turn, Ashante sold drugs in order to provide for her biggest priority, her first daughter, Lavette.
At age eighteen, Ashante moved back to South Bend with her then two-year-old daughter and started working. It was at this time that she first heard of and encountered the St. Vincent de Paul Society, who helped her move into and fully furnish her first apartment. “I came here for everything… I mean everything,” she recalled. She was in desperate need of a helping hand, and “St. Vincent’s was there to help me get back onto my feet.”
Ashante, now twenty-five, is currently balancing two jobs and eight kids alone, only four of which are her own. The other four kids that she supports are her siblings’, as they are either in jail or not around. Ashante has worked very hard to get to where she is today, balancing both work and an education. Her Ivy Tech degree in Early Childhood Development is being used to advance her career in day care.
Now when Ashante frequents our store it is not necessarily for financial assistance. She has formed a bond with the staff that allows her to visit them and receive the emotional support she needs to continue pursuing her goals. “There is so much that [St Vincent de Paul Society] does, and it really helps.”
Ashante’s life brings us hope, as she is a testament to the strength and capacity of humans to overcome adversity. In spite of the hardships she has endured, Ashante still optimistically maintains her faith in God and in organizations such as St Vincent de Paul Society, which has helped her to get to where she is today.
"“I came here for everything… I mean everything,” "
"Ashante’s life brings us hope, as she is a testament to the strength and capacity of humans to overcome adversity."