Supporting Second Chances: Together We Bake and UNFCU Foundation Help Women Achieve Economic Self-Sufficiency

Meet Jacqueline. Once homeless and addicted to cocaine, she now is proud to be on a new journey of financial and economic independence.

From the age of five, Jackie was the victim of sexual abuse. Years of abuse triggered a cycle of depression, violence, and addiction. She began drinking at the age of twelve and progressed to cocaine by sixteen. Substance abuse provided Jackie with a temporary escape from the pain of feeling lost, used, and beaten down by life. This ultimately led to Jackie being imprisoned for a drug-related charge.

Jackie then made a choice to focus on a life of sobriety and recovery. She wanted to create a better life for herself.

Upon her release, Jackie looked for employment, but due to her past, she was repeatedly turned down. She was eventually encouraged to approach Together We Bake (TWB) to develop skills in the food industry. As one of UNFCU Foundation's partners, TWB provides hope to previously incarcerated, homeless or migrant women in the Washington, DC area.

Nervous at first, Jackie found that the TWB team gave her an amazing feeling of acceptance. For once, she was not being judged for her past.

Now in her fifties, Jackie is starting a new life. She has a job and is grateful for the compassion, patience, and encouragement she received from staff at TWB. “[I have learned] how to be a leader, not just a follower,” Jackie shared. “I have hope and confidence to become self-sufficient.”

Jackie now uses a computer, grateful that her 8th grade education doesn't have to hold her back. She is also studying to take her General Educational Development (GED) exam.

“Trusting other women was a challenge before coming to TWB. Today, I have overcome that challenge.”

This once-abandoned little girl is now reaching her dreams. “TWB taught me that I'm a survivor!”

The UNFCU Foundation is a proud supporter of Together We Bake and other programs that support women's economic empowerment. With your support we can help more women like Jackie find hope and a second chance to fulfill their dreams.