Coming Full-Circle – Lavette’s Story
At the age of 14, Lavette left her home in search of a connection. Lavette sought out love and connection that her mom was unable to provide as she battled with addictions. Lavette wondered aimlessly only to find out that it was as bad out there or worse in the world as it was at home. This journey made trust and connection difficult. With help and guidance from God and supportive women along the way, Lavette began to pave a new path in her life.
In high school she started secretly staying with her boyfriend at his parent’s residence. When her boyfriend’s mother found out Lavette was staying there because she had nowhere else to go, his mother made an offer.
I’ll never forget that support and relief I felt from her taking me in,” Lavette recalls.
As she earned her diploma, Lavette’s relationship with her high school boyfriend became strained.
“We were fighting all the time, it was not a healthy relationship. However, my boyfriend’s mom helped me find a studio apartment and co-signed for it. So, at 17-years-old, I was on my own,” Lavette says.
She got a job at the Cook County courthouse where day after day she would hear stories of people facing drug and prostitution charges.
“Over my 13 years of working at the courthouse, I heard countless stories of people challenged with addictions. This fact, on top of my personal experience of how addictions affected my mother and one of my close friends, compelled me to learn more.
I decided to get a college degree in Addiction Studies,” Lavette says. To pay for the education, she withdrew her pension.
Knowing first-hand how many young people need homes, Lavette and her husband decided to foster children, with the hope to adopt.
Both her nine-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son had experienced significant trauma and Lavette worked hard to find resources for them to emotionally heal and thrive.
I seriously considered it and decided to go back to school. In 2015, I received my degree in Social Work,” Lavette smiles.
Her family moved to DuPage County in 2017 and in 2018 she was hired at DuPagePads as a Supportive Housing Case Manager.
Lavette shares, “I’m so glad to be a part of DuPagePads. Not only am I able to give back and help people, but my husband and I are working on our credit so that we can purchase a home, something that I never believed could be possible.
I’ve had God and a lot of women who were mother figures help me to get where I am today, and that is something I like to share with clients.
Providing guidance and encouragement, I like to tell them, ‘You can do it.’ I guess you could say my life has come full-circle.”