“When I was in jail, I wasn’t stressed and I wasn’t worried…I was at peace,” she says. “This was God’s way of telling me that this was my punishment for what I had done. I accepted it.”
Mentally broken, emotionally wounded and five months pregnant, Allyson’s drive to get into the program didn’t waiver once she arrived.
“She was very cooperative, motivated and determined to get her life back on track,” says Case Manager Andrea McCartney. “Of course there were things that were challenging to her. She had to learn how to manage her problems differently, confront her past and heal from addiction.”
The Village of Hope requires its students to work onsite and Allyson worked her way from janitorial assignments into the children’s center and then became manager of the tutoring center. She took parenting classes, learned life skills, received therapy and joined recovery groups. Using every resource available, she figured out how to expunge her criminal record, find a job, attend all the required counseling sessions and kept up with her Bible studies. Even with time off to give birth to Serenity, she completed the program in 14 months.
Steve was unable to attend her daughter’s graduation, but watched the video on YouTube. “I was happy that she took advantage of the opportunity, but just like any parent would be, I’m still scared. You realize what your kid’s capable of doing and you just hope they’ve learned their lesson.”
Allyson moved into an apartment in Buena Park earlier this year (February ‘16). She has shared custody of daughters Jade and Serenity and is reworking a custody arrangement to see her son Marciano, Jr. more often.
As of this writing, she has been clean and sober. The percentage of children in the U.S. ages 4-17 diagnosed with ADHD by a health care provider, as reported by parents, increased 42 percent between 2003 and 2011, according to the Center for Disease Control.
In the June 2014 issue of the ADHD Report, two leading researchers Erin N. Schoenfelder, Ph.D., and Scott H. Kollins, Ph.D., reported that “…individuals with ADHD were 1.5 times more likely than people without ADHD to develop any type of substance use disorder, regardless of age, gender or race.”