Angel Jones always wanted a career, but life intervened in a number of ways.
She experienced trauma as a kid and was in the state’s care. When she got out of the system, she was past 18 and hadn’t had a chance to finish high school. She struggled with addiction, getting clean and then relapsing.
“My earlier life was nothing but stumbling blocks—which is OK. We learn as we go,” she says.
She married when she was not quite 19 and stayed in a toxic marriage for 10 years. When the marriage ended, she had to start over. “I had literally grown from a child into an adult in the marriage, so I didn’t even know how to grocery shop for myself.”
She didn’t know who she was for a long time, but now she’s finding out.
“Finding yourself takes a while,” she says. “I’m still not there yet, but I’m on a better path—that’s for sure.”
Angel has three sons and says she’s learning parenting as she goes. She loves being a mom.
She hopes to become a clinical therapist and help women who have experienced trauma. For now she’s working two jobs and taking classes to get her GED. Then she’ll pursue her bachelor’s degree and her master’s.
“Even being in your 30s it’s daunting to look at college at this age because you see a bunch of 19- and 20-year-olds walking around campuses.”
She heard about NOSW in 2021 and thought, “This looks super, super interesting. I wonder what I could learn from this.”
She attended a three-day program in the summer and a workshop series in October, both online. “And it helped me a bunch. I’ve really been able to put myself where I want to go … and it doesn’t look near as daunting as it did when I started out.”
She works hard juggling her busy life, but she has faith in herself. “I know I’ll get there.”