"I don't want to forget the past, but I don't want to live in it."

Nellie's story of hopeNellie was the mother of two young daughters when she was introduced to crack cocaine and alcohol.

That led to what she calls "13 years of self-destruction."

"I was a dope fiend. I tried to hold on to my morals, but unfortunately ... I was one of ‘them.' "

She was in and out of jails and prison. She gave her daughters to her mother to raise because she was living on the streets, in the pursuit of a continuous high. She was shot, stabbed, and she was up for an even longer stint in prison when, "by the grace of God," she was sentenced instead to treatment.

"I was determined to go to treatment with a willingness to learn whatever I had to learn and do whatever I needed to do ... just like I did when I was out there looking for my drugs. I did whatever I had to do to get my drugs. That's how low it took me."

She was determined to change. And that is what she did. "I walked through the doors of The Salvation Army knowing, no matter what, that I have to have a stronger desire to stay clean than to get high."

Today, Nellie is clean and sober. She values her sobriety. She is a good, strong mother once again to her daughters. And she is pursuing a career as a licensed drug counselor so she can help other women turn their lives around.