Our Stories

Bhava C. – Women’s Small Business Program graduate

Bhava headshot; Photo Credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“Mercy Connections created an open, welcoming safe space to walk through the personal and professional process of being in business.” In the summer of 2012, I was working in Waitsfield. A mentor encouraged me to look into Mercy Connections. I did a little online research, then filed it away. Fast forward to 2014, I started my…

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Solange – Participant

Solange posing with arms folded; Photo Credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“You are not alone. If you have someone else, you can work together and support each other.” I came to the U.S. from Brazil in 1997, first in Massachusetts. In 2006, I came to VT with my young family with 2 ½ year old twin boys. I had a car accident. After that I was…

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Jeanne L. – volunteer

Jeanne posing; Photo credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“I’ve learned to say I love you in Romanian.” I saw an ad for the Mentoring program in the paper. Then I saw another ad for kitchen help through the United Way and thought, “This is something I’d like to do.” I’ve often worked in underserved areas. It’s a way for me to give back…

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Sharyl G. – mentor

Crystal and Sharyl embracing; Photo credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“I love how it takes both of us to say ‘Yes!’ again and again as we build a strong connection” I taught school for 30 + years, children ages 8-10. I know that having a family member in prison is terribly discombobulating for children. I decided when I retired from teaching I would take the training…

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Crystal C. – mentee

Image of Crystal posing; Photo credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“What have I gained? Self-esteem, healthy friendships – I even had a book dedicated to me!” When I was still incarcerated, I learned about Mercy Connections [Vermont Women’s Mentoring Program*]. After 5 ½ years of being mentored by Sharyl, I can say I’ve learned and grown a lot! She’s an amazing friend, and we encourage…

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Mark K. – Participant

Mark posing with hands folded; Photo credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“It may not be at a fast pace, but I’m inspired to keep moving forward.” I was released from prison July 2015. When released I moved into the shelter. I had no family here and had to be here because of probation. I was unable to work and sat around at the park day after…

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Sherridan – participant

Sherridan holding her original painting; Photo credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“I found open arms, acceptance and a safe place.” Hard to believe it was only a few years ago that I found Mercy Connections. I was in a totally stagnant place in my life – had been there for years. I was depressed and broke and felt all alone. I had stopped hoping or dreaming…

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