FloCrit Alums Live Untraditional Paths to Success (Part 1)
When you think of success, what comes to mind? Is it a big house, a high-paying job, or power and influence? Although there’s no uniform definition of success, the traditional American view of “the dream” typically includes…
When you think of success, what comes to mind? Is it a big house, a high-paying job, or power and influence? Although there’s no uniform definition of success, the traditional American view of “the dream” typically includes wealth and important connections. Many of us have subscribed to this mindset in one way or another, but recent interviews with two FloCrit alumni have provided refreshing insights on living a meaningful and successful life with their families. We know we can learn so much from our alumni, and part of FloCrit’s Impact 2025 Strategic Plan involves engaging with alumni to understand their journeys better and how that translates into programatic support for current moms. Angie and Stephany, two alumni who have created their own paths to success, share how FloCrit empowered them to build the future they want.
Angie wasn’t yet 15 years old when she became pregnant. After receiving information about Florence Crittenton Services from her doctor, she decided to attend Florence Crittenton High School. On her first day of school, Angie walked into the lunch room feeling alone and unsure. After looking around and seeing how many other teen moms surrounded her, she explains that she felt much more confident and less alone. For Angie, she couldn’t even imagine what her future might look like. Before becoming pregnant, she experienced the loss of her grandmother (her primary caregiver) and fell into a state of depression. “I was honestly just trying to get to the next day. Like, I wasn’t even thinking of the future. Nothing. I was just trying to keep going. And that’s when I got pregnant.”
Mia Malani, Angie’s daughter, was named because of its meaning: heavenly flower. “I really believe my grandma dropped her down from heaven and gave her to me. And it really gave me a different perspective. And it changed my life.” For Angie, this was just the beginning of a difficult journey. Having caring adults in her life was a new experience, so it took a while for her to trust those around her. She remembers pushing FloCrit staff away because she didn’t trust that they were trying to help her. Eventually, Angie warmed up and began to view Florence Crittenton as a second home.
After graduating, Angie participated in Denver’s Summer Youth Employment Program and worked with art therapist and interim Student and Family Support Program (SFSP) Director, Donica Snyder. Being mentored by Donica helped her grow and heal in numerous ways, and she began thinking about what her future might hold now that she had a high school degree. Following her internship, she began working in the Early Childhood Education Center (ECE), the same place she took Mia when she began attending FloCrit. However, her path still wasn’t linear, and Angie was learning to be okay with that. She took a break from working in the ECE to start esthetics school, and soon received her certificate to become an esthetician. Meanwhile, Angie became a mother a second time. When her son Zeus was born, Angie recalls realizing an interest in psychology and working with preschool kids that have behavioral issues and challenges.
This year, Angie returned to FloCrit as a pre-school teacher and is the lead teacher in her room. She plans on using this position as a springboard into a career in pediatric psychology as she explores applying to college. Zeus is six months old and happily crawling around with his friends in the ECE, and Mia Malani is having a blast (while giving lots of sass) in 2nd grade.