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Rita began her life-changing relationship with the Edmundite Missions through our rural health clinic in Vredenburgh. According to Rita, who at the time had young twin boys, her living situation had reached a level of “life or death” urgency. The constant stress from her home environment was causing the perfect conditions for a stroke at the young of age of 26. But the healthcare professionals at the rural clinic saw something in Rita. Once they realized that she had an associate’s degree, they saw a path out of her terrible home situation.
With $27 in food stamps, a $50 child support check, and a few pieces of furniture to her name, Rita found herself in an apartment in Selma that had been provided for by the Edmundite Missions. Sister Norma helped her to enroll in a local college with a plan to obtain a teaching degree and hired her to work at the Learning Center. While at the Center, Rita worked her way up to Assistant Director. The vote of confidence signified by the promotion meant the world to Rita. “I had never had anyone who believed in me to show me how to believe in myself.”
Along the way Rita her obtained four-year degree and continues to teach in Selma city Schools. She’s even been named “Teacher of the Year.” She has accomplished other major milestones such as home ownership, providing a stable household for her children to flourish.