Athena House Saved My Life

– Meet Sylvie De La Cruz
Sylvie De La Cruz

Sylvie De La Cruz is the director of Athena House and Hope Village

I’m here today because Athena House saved my life.

If you had met me 25 years ago, I would not have been able to look you in the eye. I grew up with a lot of trauma and abuse, always scared and feeling like I had no value in the world. I certainly wasn’t treated like I had value in the world.

That’s what sent me down a dark path where I had no hope. I spent a good part of my adult life not believing I could be loved. I didn’t think life could be anything else but miserable. I made a few suicide attempts and thought, “Look, I’m even a failure at that.”

I couldn’t yet see it from a different perspective: I wasn’t meant to die. I was meant to live.

Substances became my solution and my escape. In 2000, I got myself in trouble and was offered Athena House in lieu of prison. I was at Athena for six months, followed by aftercare for six months and sober living for six months.

That continuum of care changed the trajectory of my life.

Today, I’m the survivor of the trauma I lived. I am not the abuse I sustained. I am not the shell of a human being without hope that I used to be. I know my worth, I have a love for life, and I found a hope that I had no idea existed.

That is why I feel incredibly honored to be able to tell every woman who walks through the doors of Athena House that they are worthy of a life that is beyond their wildest dreams.

Because I am living a life that is beyond my wildest dreams.