Graduate Spotlight: Autumn Piehl

 How did you hear about TPOM and what interested you in the program?

I was in a work program in Chattanooga and some of the girls I knew there left to go to TPOM and I heard from them how much they loved it here.

 What were some of the things you were thinking about when you first arrived?

I was wondering about visitation with my children and whether or not I would be able to start seeing them. When I got here, I was really pleased. It was so nice and the staff were wonderful and even the volunteers were so supportive. The whole program has been so amazing and I’m so glad I came here.

 How has TPOM been able to help with your reentry?

Fred was so amazing with his help finding me a place to work. When I was in prison, I learned carpentry and now I’m working for a company that builds museum exhibits. I do finish carpentry and the painting of the finished products and make $20 per hour. Alice was so helpful with reentry needs and everyone was so encouraging.

 What’s the best thing about being in the Women’s House?

It’s a little community that’s like a family. Most everyone wants to do better and they have goals for the future. Everyone is willing to help each other.

 What goals do you have for the future?

I was from Knox County, but I think it’s best if I stay in the area here. I’ll stay with my carpentry and work on getting my girls with me. In the meantime, I’ll graduate in January and I’ve got the chance to be a House Shepherd. I’ve always wanted to work with people in some setting like this and I think I would be good at it.

 What advice would you give others who are considering the program?

I would say that you won’t fail if you do what’s required. This is definitely a good place with a supportive community. You can see that the staff really care and their work here is more than just a job.

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