When Leslie was a little girl, she vividly remembers her dad physically abusing her mom. Her mother eventually left her father and raised Leslie and her two siblings. To support the family, her mother started working with the Mexican drug cartel in Mexico and brought Leslie with her. As a little girl, Leslie saw drugs, alcohol and sex. Ultimately, her mother was caught and went to jail. At the age of 14, Leslie began smoking marijuana and drinking, and a year later she started smoking meth.
By the time she was 17, Leslie was homeless and committing crimes to support her addiction. This led to transporting immigrants over the border from Mexico. Leslie engaged in this dangerous activity over many years until she was caught by border patrol. She returned to a homeless lifestyle and, before her third arrest, realized how very tired she was of this pattern.
While in jail, Leslie began reading a Bible, and she filled out an application for Bethel House. She was accepted and this is where her recovery started. Leslie spoke for her graduating class on March 14, 2015, and shared, “I’m a year clean and sober. I have a job, I’m getting my high school diploma, and I know that if I keep doing the next right thing, God’s got me and won’t let me go.”