Marshay Patterson graduated the HOPE program on March 13th 2015, at that time committing to an oath to turn her life around. It was a commitment and opportunity she did not take for granted. We all have a story and while it may be a troubling one, she is thankful that her story has led her to Hope for Prisoners.
Marshay is 30 years old and grew up in Southern California. She is the third oldest of seven children. Her biological mother struggled with drug addiction and as a result lost custody of all of her children. Marshay and her twin brother were adopted by her Mother Francis, who now resides in Mississippi and her Father Clarence. Her parents were able to adopt four of the seven children.
Marshay stated that she lived a very sheltered lifestyle. She had amazing parents and guidance and wanted for nothing. She excelled in academics, volunteered a lot, earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and aside from a speeding ticket here and there managed to stay out of trouble. She shares this because trouble can find anyone. The thing that makes the difference in our lives are our choices. Whether we make a good or bad choice there will always be a consequence. She believes you’ve heard many times before that your association’s determine your destination. That is a big part of her story and how she ended up here at Hope.
In college Marshay met a man whom became a big influence in her life. They dated for 6 years and 3 years into the relationship he experienced a few challenges and made a decision to go back to the streets and hustle. As much as she cared for him, there was a part of her that knew she should have parted ways with him because they no longer shared the same values. Her choice to stay in that relationship led her down a dark path. She accepted the dysfunction of the relationship she was in, it became her norm and she was introduced to many things she never imagined she would have been involved in.
Marshay wanted out, but had isolated herself from friends and family and was solely dependent on her boyfriend at the time. She had trouble finding work in California so it was her boyfriend’s decision to move to Vegas. Eventually she separated herself from him and moved to a transitional house where she became House Manager. She was still having trouble finding work so Clark County social services told her to go to Hope for Prisoners because they help felons find jobs. That’s all they told her and boy were they wrong. Hope for Prisoners does so much more.
“Look, I can’t promise it will be easy but I can promise you it will be worth it. Stay connected and know we have your back,” Marshay says.
Congratulations! It is your time to make the rest of your life, the best of your life.