SMRS Staff Highlight: Niah Ramos

“At the age of 15, I entered a treatment center for the very first time…this is where my journey began. For the next 25+ years, my pattern was bouncing in and out of treatment centers, prisons, and back to the street life. I finally became desperate enough and completely surrendered to my disease of addiction. One step at a time, I got clean and decided to give myself a chance. I came in with 28 felony convictions, was on public assistance, volunteered to make ends meet where I could work for a few extra dollars, and worked in a minimum wage paying job in retail. I kept asking myself, ‘is this all there is for me in this new way of life?' I kept moving forward with faith and integrity, one foot in front of the other, no matter what.

I was offered a job at SMRS and my whole world changed. I call that my ‘Hope Shot.’ I began attending school and found out not only was I smart, but I was capable! Within three months with SMRS, I was promoted to the intake department. It took someone else believing in me to inspire that change for me to believe in myself. I am now self-supporting and off of public assistance and can provide for myself. I love what I do because I bring inspiration to SMRS clients on a daily basis. I get to give them that ‘Hope Shot’ that I was given.

At SMRS, it's a process of constant improvement, and people at work look up to me and ask me for advice. I get to show them the change in me, of someone who was once a hopeless addict. My coworkers are like family. Every single person I work with is appreciated. We support and help each other. When I see the light come on in a resident's eyes and they make a point to thank me ... I know that I'm doing a good job too.

My advice to everyone is: Don't give up on yourself no matter what. Trust the process, you never know what's in store for you. Please don't leave one second before the miracle occurs!”