Becoming a Leader

Tricia Bisson
Mercy Connections Live Edge shape decoration



Becoming a Leader

"I cannot wait to start helping others like they have helped me. Mercy Connections has been such a positive support system in my life and to my sobriety."

Tricia Bisson, Former mentee, VT Women’s Mentoring Program

My childhood was fairly normal. I have awesome, loving parents but I did suffer childhood trauma. I started using drugs at a young age to help cope with my trauma. My family tried to help me but I was too far gone. All I cared about was getting high, and it didn’t matter who I was hurting. The only thing that mattered was how I was going to get my next fix. I ended up in jail. However, I believe going to jail saved my life.

While incarcerated, I got clean and learned to love myself for the first time. I became a leader, not a follower, and learned how to stand up for myself and go after what I wanted. I learned about a program at Mercy Connections that helps women and supports them in their lives. I decided to give the whole mentor thing a try.

My mentor was Dottie Watson. We were paired together at first because we both love to read murder mysteries. I can honestly say Dottie is much more to me than my mentor. She is one of my very good friends. I knew if I was struggling with anything I could call her. She would do anything she could to try and help me get through it.

I have been clean and sober for a little over four years. I work at a local manufacturing company and have been promoted four times in two years. I have a very big and supportive family. I am also working with Mercy Connections to become a mentor myself. I cannot wait to start helping others like they have helped me. Mercy Connections has been such a positive support system in my life and to my sobriety.

The Vermont Women’s Mentoring Program has a proven track record of helping women to successfully reestablish their lives, post incarceration. The support of a mentor promotes systemic and permanent change, reducing risk behaviors associated with recidivism.

More Stories

Story Live Edge

I became my own best advocate through Mercy Connections


"I’ve been going to Mercy Connections for six years, and there I have a loving supporting community. There’s the family you are born into and the family you make."

Jidapa pointing on map to tutor and smiling
Story Live Edge

U.S. Citizenship Participant


Jidapa has been a student at Mercy Connections since 2022, enrolled in the U.S. Citizenship Preparation Tutoring program. After a year and a half of studying, she took and passed the U.S. Citizenship Test in 2024.

Linda Yekeh
Story Live Edge

New U.S. citizen & graduate


"Mercy Connections has given a lot of refugees and immigrants the opportunity to pursue their dreams in life."