Roshaunda is bright, beautiful, caring, poised, articulate, and confident. She clearly has a lot going for her.
Just weeks away from obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Childhood Development, Roshaunda plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work. Ultimately, she hopes to make a career out of helping children through Olive Crest.
Child Abuse Survivor
Roshaunda is also a recovering victim of abuse and a survivor of a horrific childhood.
When she was a little girl, she and her siblings were removed from their mother, as she often left them alone for days while she fed her gambling addiction. Tragically, during that time, neighbors noticed the children were home alone, and one of them took advantage of and sexually assaulted Roshaunda’s oldest sister.
From that time on, Roshaunda was in and out of various homes, some good and others not-so-good. One, in particular was terrible.
“When I was 10, my younger brother and I were put with a family that abused us in every way,” she recalls. “They constantly told us that we weren’t worth anything and that we’d never be worth anything. They said that our mom didn’t want us, and I’d say, ‘I know my mom loves me,’ because she told me she did every time I saw her.”
“One time they spanked us with a belt, and I guess they didn’t think that was good enough so they began beating us with an extension cord. I was in my room crying when I saw them beating my brother, who was only six. I couldn’t stand it, and I went crazy.” Somehow, she escaped from the house, ran down the street, and managed to call the police. That day, Roshaunda and her brother were moved to a new home.
Kind Hearts at Olive Crest
Roshaunda was lost in the system until she was an 18-year-old highschool
graduate. That’s when she was connected with Olive Crest and was
surrounded by the care and nurturing she had needed for so many years.
Her team of supporters and mentors at Olive Crest found her housing and
provided daily practical assistance with finance, educational planning,
emotional encouragement, and other tools to help her heal and become an
independent young woman.
“At Olive Crest, I met so many people with kind hearts,” she says. “I’ll never forget what they did for me.” She has a special appreciation for her caseworker, Victoria. “She went way above and beyond. If I had a bad day, I knew I could call her, and she would be that inspirational voice that would push me forward. She drove me to the store and helped me go grocery shopping. She taught me how to read labels, compare prices, and cut back on things I didn’t really need.” She also helped Roshaunda extricate herself from a bad relationship. “She helped me believe in myself and held me accountable, which I really needed.”
At Olive Crest, she also learned how to manage a household budget and pay rent. “But it isn’t really rent, because at the end of your time there, they give it all back to you. Not only that, but they also match all the money you’ve saved.” Roshaunda set a record and received an award for saving $9,000, which she used to help pay for her college education.
Roshaunda says she is deeply grateful for friends like you, who made this
critical, life-changing connection with Olive Crest possible. “I wish I could
give every Olive Crest donor a hug and tell them how much their support has meant to me. And not only me, but to all the kids they’ve helped, including my little brother, my future children, and all the children I’m going to care for during my career.”
She also wants you to know that your support is making a real difference for kids who just need a helping hand to fulfill their great potential. Many of
those she met at Olive Crest will be her lifelong friends.
“My best friend now was my Olive Crest roommate,” she says with a big smile on her face. “She’s getting married this month, and I’m her maid of honor. It’s like a dream come true.”
Thank you for all you’re doing to stop the vicious cycle of abuse and
restore the lives of young people like Roshaunda. We will keep you updated as she keeps pursuing her dreams!