My Dream Job: Human Trafficking Survivor Story
Melanie Dillon, Freedom employee and human trafficking survivor shares her story about overcoming challenges, joining Freedom, and her dreams for the future.
My Dream Job
My idea of my dream job would be pursuing my passion for cooking. Helping, supporting, and guiding other addicts and alcoholics with getting clean and staying clean. Working for a company who stands for a purpose or cause that has a lot of meaning for me. Giving back to my community. The independence and ability to create beautiful things and share them with people. And finally, just knowing that I’m making a difference in people’s lives. You’re probably wondering how all of these characteristics could be grouped into one job.
It took a long time for me to decide what my dream was. I am a former addict and alcoholic with two years of sobriety, and if it weren’t for all the horrible and disturbing things that have happened in my past, I don’t think I would have come to know about such an amazing and rewarding opportunity that inspired this dream. It’s only because of this past and a little bit of hope and faith that I stumbled on to this amazing organization that truly changed my life and gave me a second chance. I knew the moment I walked in the door that I had found something special and I wanted more. I was a lost and broken soul who didn’t know anything about myself but was given all I put in and 100 times more.
I started from the bottom of this organization – cleaning and organizing, then being given a few more responsibilities at a time. Cooking was added. I was good at it. Then I began to remember my childhood, when cooking was my favorite thing to do with my grandmother – and suddenly I was genuinely happy. I found a place in myself that I had never had. Peace and serenity, where I’m in control, where I’m finally good enough, no anxiety, I found that this makes people happy and brings people together in a way that I was not used to seeing. People looked at me differently and most of all, I looked at myself differently. I made people smile, laugh, and enjoy life on a level I hadn’t experienced since those Sunday dinners with my whole family at my grandmother’s. Little by little, I was taught new things and techniques, which gave me more confidence in myself then I could ever have imagined.
They actually gave me a job, so I was no longer just a volunteer. Within six months of very hard work and dedication to this amazing place, I became a manager. This is only the beginning. My journey will not end here. This has actually given me the inspiration to want so much more for myself. This nonprofit organization which originally started to help with a cause that could change the world is now my destiny. After school, a lot of hard work, dedication, and guidance my dream is to one day become the executive chef of Freedom a La Cart. The role of executive chef of this amazing organization is all those characteristics I’m looking for and more. The rewarding future is what a dream job is all about.