Katalina May told Fox 4 she learned how to sell, and cook drugs from an ex-boyfriend in Miami.
She says he took care of everything. But that all changed when she got pregnant, and she quickly became homeless - as she had been for most of her life.
A woman found her sleeping at a bus stop, and helped her to find services. That is how she ended up at The New Beginnings in Cape Coral. "They've helped me tremendously", she told Fox 4.
A multi-unit apartment facility off of Cape Coral Parkway houses single moms from all walks of like - some trafficked, some from another country, some previously homeless. They live here, they go to technical school or college, and they get to chase a better life - for free.
Bill and Mary Masters founded the organization in 2011. Moms ranging from ages 18 to 30 come here to get a second chance.
"We want make sure that they have every opportunity to go to school, and get a degree so they can get a job...so that they can be self-sufficient, Mary Masters said. But the organization says this isn't a place where women go for a simple handout.
Executive Director Nadege Borgat says there's a four-step application process. "They have to carry a 3.0 GPA, their apartments have to be clean, and they have to be involved in the community."
Bill and Mary say they know their method works. They see it everyday in Nadege. "We had seen in Nadege that she had tremendous potential", Bill said.
They adopted her as a young single mom. She now has a MBA. She's also an instructor at FGCU, and she sits on multiple boards in our community. She says this makes her much that much more relatable to the moms at The New Beginnings.
"I've gone through it, and I made it. I had baggage, and I did make it. They can make it."
As for Katalina, she has big plans. She's studying to be medical assistant, and she says her life is much better overall.
"I am at peace because of Mary, Bill and Nadege."