Doreen is a 43 year old Hispanic woman raised in Coney Island, Brooklyn. She began volunteering at Amethyst as a student intern studying for her bachelor’s degree from Touro College. Once she had completed her undergraduate studies, she was able to get assistance through Amethyst to enroll in a master’s program.
I was born and raised in Coney Island and began getting high during the early years of my life. I saw Amethyst really making the difference in our community and I was pleased to see that Aida was really making things happen and I wanted to take part in the solution instead of the problem.
I saw people coming through this program, you know, that I got high with – I saw them come through this program and I saw the difference that it was making in their life and I wanted to be a part of that… Now, I am able to go into my community and, instead of being part of the problem, I’m part of the solution.
Being at Amethyst I began to fully participate in the program and was able to develop some important skills. I realized that we were really making an impact in the community and as a result it also felt good when I read the letters of gratitude of people who we referred to treatment that completed and were really grateful for being clean.
I remember when Coney Island used to be completely drug infested with lots prostitution, and nothing but shooting galleries and empty lots. But ever since Amethyst started, I began to see some incredible changes amongst the prostitutes and drug addicts. They knew they now had a place to go to for help. I saw people coming through this program, you know, that I got high with, and I saw the difference the program was making in their lives and I wanted to be a part of that.
I’ve been here [Coney Island] all my life, and they [the people in the community] seen the person I was, and they see all the changes in my life. They see what a difference Amethyst has made in my life because not only am I able to go out and do those things [outreach and presentations], but I also have a connection with the woman in here. We support each other as a team, we’re all able to come together and support the women of the community.