Jennifer, where is she now?
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For many years Jennifer was in an unhealthy, toxic relationship. She and her husband were struggling with addiction and once they brought their daughter into the world, had to give guardianship to her in laws who could provide a healthier, stable environment for her.
While staying in transitional housing, Jennifer discovered Women’s Empowerment and was accepted into Session 62.
“Women’s Empowerment offered me a safe space where I could let my guard down. Transitional housing situations can be crazy and not ideal. I never knew who I could trust. WE showed me that I am not alone, nor do I have to be and made me feel more secure.”
Since graduating, Jennifer has been keeping busy.
As a young girl Jennifer played soccer until the age of eighteen years old. One day while at Women’s Empowerment she overheard a young woman talking about soccer, the Lady Salamanders to be exact. Jennifer did some research, contacted the team and began practicing with them.
The Lady Salamanders are part of the Street Soccer USA program, and participate in a league of nationwide Homeless Street Soccer teams.
“I fell in love with the concept. The league is for people recovering from homelessness, many who are recovering addicts or battling with mental illness. My teammates and I are all at different points in our recovery but it’s great because we offer one another support and a great community.”
The team offers Jennifer a supportive base where she can continue to work on her recovery but also just have fun with friends. When she’s playing soccer she forgets about all of the things weighing heavy on her mind.
“We get to apply the skills we use while on the field in our lives as well. Even just consistently showing up is huge.”
After becoming a member of the Lady Salamanders, Jennifer traveled with the team to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the league’s national championship. It was there that the Lady Salamanders won and six women were chosen for the national team and advanced to play in Scotland. Among them was Jennifer. Forty-eight countries were represented in Scotland. Jennifer and her teammates came in eighth and had a fantastic time.
When Jennifer isn’t winning national championships she enjoys volunteering at Wellspring, a local nonprofit and women’s center for low income and homeless women and children in Sacramento. Each week she, and her teammates play soccer with the children at Wellspring and have begun working with the ladies of Women’s Empowerment as well.
In the past Jennifer worked as a paralegal and legal assistant for 10 years. She is currently on the hunt for a job in this field of employment and is taking the necessary steps in order to spend more time with her beautiful four year old daughter Sophia.