Never too Late for Better

Suzanne Garcia, FCNI Family Specialist
July, 13, 2022 -

When I first started working at Family Care Network I was so excited but also nervous. Very quickly though, I found myself feeling very “at home” here. As I was given the chance to meet more and more of my co-workers, I started to realize that I had been given a wonderful opportunity. My previous work history was largely in retail, and the career I have now is something I always wanted but never thought I could have. 


I had been placed in foster care at age 11. During my time in care, I was moved around a lot; from house to house to house. It was during this time that I quickly learned that I would not be going back to my home again. I felt alone, forgotten and, most of all, unwanted. Being moved from place to place did not help these feelings, in fact they increased them. Feeling worthless and like I would never amount to anything, I started doing drugs and hanging out with older friends who seemed to be the only people who wanted me around. I ran away from a few foster homes and went to live at a friend's house. This living situation only fueled my dangerous activity and I soon found myself 16 and pregnant by a 20 year old. 


Finding out I was pregnant was a wake up call to me. I realized that I had been making stupid decisions and I needed to fix myself before I became a Mom. I had fallen behind in school so I enrolled into Del Rio Continuation School and started working hard on making up all of my missing school credits. I started my senior year in high school when I was 4 months pregnant and living with the father of my child. The hard work I was putting in paid off and I finished all the credits I needed to graduate in December 2002. And at the end of January 2003, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Abigail. In June of that year, I carried Abigail as I walked down the aisle to get my diploma. 


Soon after graduation, I started working in a long line of retail jobs, never thinking I had the potential for anything more. I always dreamed of a career where I could help people because I knew what it was like to not receive the help you need. I wanted to work somewhere where I could make a difference for others. But I pushed those dreams down, because I needed to focus on supporting my daughter. A few years and relationships later, I had two more daughters and a son. 


In 2020, I made the decision to go back to school and get a college degree. Once I started school, I realized that I was not the only one who was working to change their lives a little later on in life-there were a lot of people attending college later on in their lives and doing so successfully. This realization that I was not alone gave me the courage to reach out for new employment opportunities. 


Now at 36 years old and a mother of four, I never imagined I would have found my “dream job.” Applying to Family Care Network was the best decision I could have made. Being able to help people in my community who face similar challenges that I faced and help them learn how to overcome them truly makes a difference in others’ lives and provides me with such a rewarding feeling. On top of it all, I am showing my children that it is never too late to go after something you want.