My name is Amber Corlin Piver, and I'm 28 years old. Before I came to Sister to Sister 2's Serenity House Program, I was lost. I don't have a lot of family, and growing up I was often on my own, and spent a lot of time on the streets. I got involved with gangs, starting using meth, then got involved in criminal activities and car theft to support my habit.
It took me a couple of tries - the first time I came into Serenity House was in 2013, to serve a mandatory 6-month sentence. I was in my early 20s then, and was angry and in denial. I didn't want to listen, even though I knew deep down that the staff were trying hard to reach me. After 6 months I left, but I hadn't really worked on myself.
In 2015 I came back to the program and stayed another 6 months. That time I opened up my heart and really listened, and did the work on myself. I learned how to have Integrity - doing the right thing even when nobody is around. I learned how to be a strong woman, I learned how to forgive and let go.
After that I got a job at a deli and reunited with my family. I worked really hard, and after I had been at the deli about a year a regular customer came in, who had noticed how hard I worked all the time, and offered me a job at a pharmacy. I didn't think I could get the job since I was a 5-year felon, and even at the interview I was doubting myself. But a few days later the woman from HR called me and told me she believed in giving people second chances, and offered me the job! And a few months later they gave me a $3.00 per hour raise!
Now I am totally focused on myself and my baby boy, who is almost 11 months old. I have been clean and sober for 4 and 1/2 years. I have my own apartment and am able to provide well for my son. I want to be responsible and strong for him, to give him a good life and opportunities that I didn't have growing up.
At the pharmacy I am shipping and receiving medications - it's hard work but I am learning a lot about medications, and I'm thinking about becoming a Pharmacy Technician once my son is a little older. Someday I want to be able to buy my own home!
I speak at meetings and events, and share my story to try to help and inspire others as much as I can. When people come to me and say they can't get a good job because they're a 5 year felon, I tell them "Don't tell me what you CAN'T do, tell me what you CAN do!"