In the journey of recovery, one of the most powerful tenets is the idea of reaching back to help those who are still struggling, forging bonds of unity and selflessness within a community. Terissa M., a member of Voting Access For All Coalition, personifies this philosophy through her remarkable journey. Two years ago, Terissa faced a life-altering car accident and endured a profound personal tragedy, leading her to confront her struggles with substance use. Little did she know that her path toward healing would also become a source of inspiration and support for others.
“I’d experienced trauma and made poor choices due to my addiction,” Terissa reflects. “I knew it was time to change my life, break free from the cycle of pain, and perhaps, one day, make a difference in someone else’s life.”
Terissa’s transformative journey led her to the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) in Sacramento, California where she found support and purpose. There she began her journey on a transitional work crew, dedicating herself to beautifying the very highways around Sacramento where she had once roamed while facing homelessness.
With hard work and dedication, Terissa earned her forklift certification and was invited to join CEO’s Advocacy Leadership Committee (ALC), where she advocated for critical reforms, including fair chance hiring and increased reentry resources.
Terissa’s commitment and leadership qualities were recognized when she was chosen as a 2023 advocacy fellow, allowing her to use her lived experiences to drive policy and organizing work for justice-impacted individuals. Additionally, she participated in the Emerging Leaders Program, gaining advanced career and leadership training while working alongside CEO’s departments. For Terissa, this transition marked a deeply satisfying shift.
“It felt so gratifying to become a positive influence for once,” she shares with a smile. “Sitting alongside so many individuals affected by the justice system, working towards a common goal – it’s nothing short of amazing.”
Terissa’s story is a beacon of hope. Her journey from tragedy to triumph serves as a powerful reminder of the potential for transformation and the importance of helping others along the way. Terissa’s unwavering commitment to her advocacy initiatives, including quality jobs, the Training and Nutrition Stability Act, the Clean Slate bill, and other vital public investments in reentry, is an inspiration to us all. Check out CEO’s website to learn more about how you can support these important initiatives to create positive change.
Join us in celebrating Terissa’s resilience and her determination to be a catalyst for positive transformation within her community and beyond. To read the entire post in full and delve deeper into Terissa M.’s inspiring journey of recovery and advocacy, please visit the following link: Read the Full Blog Post to explore her remarkable journey and discover how she continues to make a positive difference in her community and beyond.