Terre Haute woman hopes to use her past to help someone else’s future

Special Report

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Terre Haute resident Shonna Frye learned how to make the most of her opportunities, but at times, it’s been a hard lesson.

In 2008, federal agents arrested her as part of a meth ring bust. She pleaded guilty and while in prison learned how to overcome her drug addiction.

Thanks to that opportunity and her faith, Frye remains drug-free today.

“I just wake up everyday and know there are certain goals that I have to obtain,” Frye told MyWabashValley.com in 2020. “And if don’t, then I’m not going to be the person, I know I can be and that I want to be.

When we checked in on FryE recently, we found she’s seizing another opportunity. She now works at Hamilton Center as part of its “New Citizen Program.”

“I was getting ready to turn 50, so it was time that I needed to get serious about getting a good enough job that would provide me with some benefits,” Frye said.

The program is considered a second chance. It’s a paid one year mentorship for those who’ve been in the prison system. An individual gains work experience, references and, if all goes well, a permanent position.

Frye also receives personal support from a leadership team.

“If I just need to blow off some steam or if I’m getting frustrated, I can find one of the team members at anytime and talk to them,” she noted.

Frye rotates through four departments. Hamilton Center’s Director of Human Services, Tatu Brown, is Frye’s supervisor. He praises her.

“Shonna’s doing really well,” Brown told MyWabashValley.com. “Shonna’s been through some things in her life so just coming here and being open minded, being willing to listen and be willing to change, because change is really hard, but I think Shonna is doing really good with her transition.”

“I’m pretty proud of myself,” Frye smiled. “When I see pictures of myself before my addiction or come across someone I used with during that time I’m like, it seems like a million years ago.”

Now Frye hopes to use her past to help someone else’s future.

“If you find yourself like me arrested and in prison. That’s not the end of the road. That’s just a speed bump. That’s just pit stop. There’s so much more out there,” she concluded.

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