Posted by StreetWise in Vendor ProfilesMyrna Jefferson has a beautiful and bright smile, a perfect compliment to her already vivacious and bubbly personality. When Myrna walks into a room, the happy factor shoots up, because she’s just so fun to be around.
“Getting to know people is a passion for me. I love to meet people. I love to talk,” Myrna said.
Judging by her driven attitude and pleasant demeanor, you’d never have guessed that Myrna spent almost 27 years struggling with drug addiction, a personal battle that had her living on the streets for most of that time.
“I was once on drugs and alcohol and, through the grace of God, in August of 2004 I came into recovery. I’m seven years sober and whoo! It feels like I’ve been reborn! There ain’t nothing like getting off them drugs, once you’ve been bound up for 27 years and then to come back up, God, it’s awesome,” Myrna said.
Not only has she successfully triumphed over drugs and alcohol, but Myrna is bettering her life even further by getting her education.
“When I came into recovery, I reaped the benefits of going back to school. I have my high school diploma and I also have a certification as a personal chef. I got my training. Now I’m at Harold Washington College, majoring in business marketing. The next semester will be my fifth semester, so I have a little ways to go and I’m looking forward to the journey. I’m on the honor roll, girl! You know I came a long way from drug addiction until now and it’s a beautiful life. I love this life,” Myrna said.
Myrna’s ambitions don’t stop with her college degree. She currently works for a catering company called Prime Staffing. She’s gained business insight and would eventually like to open up one of her own. When she feels she’s ready, she would like to own her own recovery home. “I will be cooking there and I could train people to learn how to cook, learn how to clean house, learn how to be manageable, responsible, so that they can get back out there,” she said. “That is my passion and my dream.”
As she moves forward to pursue her career, she feels blessed to also have a wonderful family. “I have four beautiful daughters… Davida (25), Fredricka (22), Jean’e (23), and Rashonda (18). All of my young ladies are back in my life. You know, I didn’t raise them, but through the grace of God, they were raised to the best abilities of other parents. I have five beautiful grandkids and I am truly grateful to be able to be around with a sound mind and help take care of my grandchildren,” Myrna said.
Today, Myrna wears a necklace that says “hope,” the word that has given her the strength to come this far. “It keeps me going. [My mantra is] live, laugh, love. I live today. I love to laugh. And I love tremendously. I’m truly grateful to be able to help someone else out today, because I remember when I was there,” said Myrna.
Written by Brittany Langmeyer