After Justice Involvement, Tannia Found Empowerment at Fortune

After Justice Involvement, Tannia Found Empowerment at Fortune


“Before Fortune, I was really upset with the world,” Tannia shares. A stay-at-home mom prior to her experience with justice involvement, her anger stemmed from perceived powerlessness. Understanding that root cause was a vital turning point—at Fortune, identifying the tools needed to address underlying challenges and move forward from them takes priority over dwelling on the past.

“I no longer blame anyone else for my actions. I actually just take ownership for what was done.”

It was through The Fortune Society’s welcoming doors that Tannia uncovered her power. At first, she was fearful: “I cried because normally when you hear about a program, you hear the worst stories, not the best stories,” she says, “When I got here, it was like a different atmosphere…”

Immediately, she discovered an atmosphere of hope at Fortune. Classes and workshops like Seeking Strength and Anger Management illuminated her to different ways of approaching life. This insight was supported by even more holistic resources: Interactive Journalism, Business, Music, Team Leadership, Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)—all of these incredible programs at Fortune transformed Tannia’s life.

“[MRT] teaches you amazing things,” she notes, “Things you probably would not know about yourself. Things you probably would doubt that you are even capable of doing. [The 12-step book that accompanies it] actually…made me understand that some of my relationships were just negative. And I had to let [them] go.”

With the encouragement of Fortune staff members, Tannia is now on a confident and creative path forward. Like every participant at Fortune, she is more than her mistakes. Instead, she has the ability to thrive.

“…before Fortune, you probably wouldn’t have got this smile.”

Tannia Garrins, participant at The Fortune Society

Read more of Tannia’s inspiring story in the excerpt from our 2018 Annual Report below. Then, enjoy more of the incredible examples of community-powered transformations in its pages.

I was so nervous when I first came to Fortune that I cried. I heard horror stories about other organizations and was afraid of getting my hopes up, but after my first meeting with a Fortune staff member I knew that I came to the right place.

The workshops and programs that I’ve taken here have changed my life. MRT (Moral Reconation Therapy), interactive journalism, music, business, team leadership—each class helped me unlock my potential and move forward from my past. I let go of anger and resentment and embraced my ability to think positively and create change.

Sometimes, that change included offering suggestions on ways to improve the programs at Fortune that I was a part of. Fortune staff members embraced my feedback and incorporated much of it. I’m proud to have made a difference for other participants like me.

Rather than harboring regret for past relationships and circumstances, I’m now thinking forward. My goal is to open up a business in five years. With the solid relationships I’ve built with like-minded people here, I know that it’s possible. Thanks to The Fortune Society, I’m no longer afraid.

Article by Root Stitches LLC

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