These are the stories of people who experience resilience through recover, stability, or post-traumatic growth. Each journey to resilience is different, but there are some common themes. If you have a story of personal resilience, please click here and tell us about your story. Don’t forget to include a picture.
Kelda Latham-Bennett was subjected to a great number of risk factors and not many protective factors from an early age. In addition to lacking a functioning family structure, Kelda experienced physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her mother. As a child, Kelda would often wonder what was wrong with her that would lead her mother to hate her so much. As Kelda entered adolescence, she began to realize that her worth as a person was not determined by her mothers behavior. She says this is when she developed an emotional shield and decided not to react to her mothers violence. Displeased by this, her mothers attacks became more sever. Kelda developed rage and anger. She began seeking independence and anything that would make her feel better, if only for a little while. She chose a path of recklessness and before long was addicted to methamphetamine.
In 2006, Kelda was walking with another addict and was stopped by police. She was arrested on a previous warrant and sent to prison. Before learning of her sentence, Kelda wrote letters to the Judge, District Attorney, and Assistant District Attorney to request that she be given long term rehabilitation. Her request was granted and she entered a six month program while in prison. It was in the rehabilitation center that Kelda began to take stock of her life.
“After years of abusing myself, a light inside me turned on, and I asked for help. I knew I was too important to continue doing what my mother had started so many years ago. It was time to become accountable”
In 2007, Kelda was out of prison and rehabilitation and working with adults with disabilities. She had moved to a new state, created new long-term friendships, learned how to use the resources in her community, and began planning for her future. By 2012, she had also began running in marathons to earn money for worthy causes. Kelda wanted to do more. She organized a 90 mile run to benefit the Special Olympics after being inspired by marathoners running 125 miles in the desert. Kelda was featured in local news and inspired many. Click here to read more about Kelda’s run.
Kelda completed the 90 mile run and earned $5,032.25 for the Special Olympics. Kelda had restructured her life and was well on her way to recovery but, there was still more she wanted to do.
In 2014, Kelda enrolled in school to completed a bachelors in business. She is entering her senior year and has a 4.0. Kelda works within her university to help students who may be struggling with some of the same challenges she faced early on in life. She works a peer mentor and has been recognized by her university as an outstanding student and mentor. Click here to hear Kelda tell her own story.