Overcoming All Odds
After being sexually abused by a family member as a child, Marta sunk into a spiral of isolation and despair.
When no one believed her story, she began numbing the pain with drugs and living a life in the streets. After years of struggling to survive, Marta had become a mother and found what she thought to be love in her partner. This partner later convinced her to begin committing residential burglaries in exchange for drugs and as a way to support her child. After one incident, Marta’s partner threw her out of a moving car and abandoned her at the scene of the crime. As a result, Marta went to prison for the first time and was sentenced to three years.
After getting out, she began a path to change her life for the sake of her child. She started attending college, but shortly after, Marta learned that her family member finally admitted to abusing her as well as another family member. Consumed with the emotions of her past, Marta relapsed. On what felt like a “suicide mission,” she committed one last residential burglary, and in 2017 Marta was sentenced to 24 and a half years in prison.
While serving her term, Marta felt hopeless and was plagued with the fear of growing old inside, never being able to see her child again. She decided to change her life for good this time and became invested in growing religiously to figure out what purpose God had for her. After serving two years of her term and dedicating her life to progress, Marta received news that a recent law change resulted in 22 1/2 years being removed from her sentence! She was getting out and would be able to see her child and change her life permanently.
Following release, Marta persevered on her journey of betterment, earning a bachelor's degree and then continued on, graduating earlier this year with a master’s degree in business administration and a concentration in management. After graduation, she was able to land her dream job in aerospace. This sense of security changed Marta and relieved some anxiety in her child’s life.
Marta now serves as a lived experience mentor with H.I.R.E.’s Transforming Integration into Meaningful Experiences (T.I.M.E.) mentorship program. Through the T.I.M.E program, Marta works with youth in juvenile hall and in the jails, sharing her story of perseverance in hopes to help them with their own journeys.
“Giving hope to people, being able to give back, being able to give someone a path, one that they didn’t know was there, that’s what essentially is being a mentor.”- Marta on her experience being a T.I.M.E mentor.
Marta continues to speak publicly about her story of sexual abuse and sobriety in hopes to educate and help those who have been in the same place. Marta is grateful for programs like H.I.R.E. that focus on giving formerly incarcerated individuals second chances and the opportunity to change their lives around.