For most, Bregetta’s childhood is unimaginable.  She, along with her sister and mother, were the victims of domestic abuse. They lived in extreme poverty, often with not enough to eat. Her mother struggled with drugs. It was a dark time.

“It was hard,” Bregetta remembers, “I couldn’t cry. I had to be strong for my sisters.”

At 14, child services took her into foster care, and that chapter of her life thankfully ended. But Bregetta struggled. She started skipping school and rebelled. At 17, she was pregnant. She might have aged out of foster care and given up – but then a social worker referred her to Lad Lake.

Lad Lake helped Bregetta with things like housing, childcare, school and even gave her a job.

“Lad Lake has been a very supportive network for me. It’s like my second home,” she says.

Lad Lake continued supporting her and she set her sights on a college. This past May, after eight years of full-time work and part-time school, she became the first one in her family to graduate from college.

Today, Bregetta works for Children’s Hospital helping connect foster care families with needed resources to help others like her. When asked how she did it, Bregetta says,

“In order to get what else is out here for you, you have to let things go. I just try to be the light.”

Lad Lake congratulates Bregetta on her degree and is proud to be a part of her success.  We wish her happiness in her career and know that she will shine on as an inspirational light to those who were once, like her, in the dark.