MAE LEE: My Story of Hope
When I was 15 years old, my mother needed money, so I was trafficked to Greece. I worked there for six years. I was finally helped and returned back to my home country after six incredibly painful years. However, I had no idea what to do when I arrived. With only a primary school education, it was extremely difficult to find a job.
Starfish Project stepped in and offered me a new beginning. I came to Starfish Project with no confidence in myself, but now, I take pride in my work. At Starfish Project, I know who I am, and I feel a sense of purpose. I have a community that is like family to me and I have been able to pursue dreams that I once thought were impossible.
One of the places I find community in is the Starfish Project shelter. I love living at the shelter because I am surrounded by people and never feel lonely. I felt isolated during my six years in Greece. Living in a big city can feel very lonely when you are by yourself. However, in the shelter, there is always someone to go on an adventure or run errands with!
Since coming to Starfish Project, I have been able to study many of the things I never got to study in school as a young girl. I have been using the Greek I learned while overseas and have been studying with an online teacher. Recently, I have started specialized training to become a professional photographer and am learning to take all of the photos for our website.
I’ve studied and learned more in the last three years than ever before. Starfish Project is such a healthy company. I have learned that growth is a personal choice and it is up to each person to take advantage of the opportunities they have been given. I am taking full advantage of every opportunity that Starfish Project has to offer me. I have big dreams and I can’t wait to actually achieve them!