Reclaiming Her Voice—How Christa Fought The Churn and Now Advocates for the Most Vulnerable

“You know, if I was in this same situation a few years ago, I would not have handled it like this,” Christa Medeiros said as she typed an email to her daughter’s teacher.

Christa’s daughter has been struggling with first grade online classes and Christa is trying to work with the teacher to get to the root of her daughter’s difficulties. After a long chain of emails back and forth, Christa felt like they were finally making progress.

“Before I found Solutions for Change, I didn’t know how to stand up for myself in a productive way,” said Christa. “But now I can advocate for myself, which makes me a better parent who can advocate for my kids.”

When she was done messaging the teacher, Christa looked across her office to her Solutions for Change diploma.

“Becoming a better parent was huge, but it’s even more than that,” Christa said. “Solutions for Change saved my life.”

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Today, Christa is a dedicated mother and Solutions for Change Empowerment Coach. But five years ago, Christa was in prison and lost custody of her children.

“I was stuck in The Churn of instability and uncertainty that led me down a pretty rough path.” Christa said. “After prison, I was sent to rehab and someone there told me to check out Solutions for Change.”

She was worried that once she finished rehab, she wouldn’t have the skills or resources to land on her feet. She worried The Churn would start all over again. But Solutions offered a way out.

“I went to Solutions with my hands down and ready to learn,” Christa said. “I was done resisting.”

The face greeting Christa at Solutions was Adelina, one of our case managers. Adelina guided Christa through her time in Solutions Academy, our 700-day program that equips parents with the skills, knowledge and resources they need to succeed on their own.

And Adelina’s unwavering, judgement-free support was one of the main reasons Christa wanted to become a Solutions team member after her graduation.

“Adelina guided me without controlling me, which empowered me to take charge of my own life,” Christa said. “The most amazing thing about Solutions is that they show you that the power to overcome your situation has always been there. They just help you tap into it.”

Through her years in Solutions Academy, Christa developed her skills as an employee, teammate, friend and parent. She took parenting classes, which offered specific techniques for managing and supporting children. The valuable personal development work allowed Christa to reunify with her children.

Christa’s most valuable parenting lessons, however, didn’t come from a classroom.

“The parenting classes were important, but the real learning came from my experience with Solutions for Change in general,” Christa said. “Every class, every workshop, every job at Solutions has helped me learn how to love myself. And knowing how to love myself and be proud of myself is the best thing I can do to be an example for my children.”

In March 2020, Christa graduated from Solutions Academy and quickly became a full time Solutions team member.

She started as a resident assistant in our apartment complex, but realized her favorite part of the job was talking with the residents and helping them solve problems. She knew she could inspire and guide the new residents since she had been through many of the same situations. That’s when she applied to be an Empowerment Coach.

“As an Empowerment Coach, I work one-on-one with residents to talk through their problems and help them find the strength within themselves to find solutions,” Christa said. “It’s so rewarding to empower other people the same way Adelina empowered me. And Adelina is my boss now, so I’m learning from the best.”

Outside work, Christa is out in the community telling everyone she can about the life-changing experience she had in Solutions Academy. She keeps her church updated about Solutions and will even tell strangers in the grocery line about all the opportunities at Solutions Academy.

“I’m like the Solutions mascot,” Christa said. “And how could I not be? Everything I am is because of Solutions. They’re the reason I broke out of my old life and took control. They’re the reason I have a voice.”

To support journeys like Christa’s and bring hope to those trying to escape homelessness and addiction, you can invest in Solutions for Change’s transformational programs or explore our volunteer opportunities.