Local woman motivated to turn life around for children

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Addiction to drugs can be a powerful thing. But for one local woman, she’s proving it wasn’t too powerful to keep her from the people she loves– her children.

Today, 23-year-old Jessica McKinley has a lot to be proud of.  She’s clean, employed and determined to be better.

McKinley grew up in Oildale.

In high school, she was introduced to methamphetamine. She was hooked instantly.

Her life spun out of control– she left home, dropped out of school, and found out she was pregnant.  Within two years, she was a mother of two and living on the streets until she was arrested for squatting in an empty house.

“I got my kids taken away, and I went to jail,” McKinley said.

It took losing her children to realize she needed to make a change.

While in prison, McKinley was told about Dress for Success.

An organization dedicated to providing disadvantaged women with a network of support, professional attire and development tools to help them thrive in work and in life.

McKinley grew professionally and personally, becoming a full-time employee at Dress for Success– helping others find the right dress.

Currently, McKinley is working towards regaining full custody of her children and is the process of obtaining her GED. She encourages anyone in need of help to reach out to Dress for Success.

Dress For Success is located at 1416 17th Street. They are open Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.Monetary support and clothing donations accepted during these hours.

More information: bakersfield.dressforsuccess.org/

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