Former drug addict and prostitute turns her life around with high school diploma

A former prostitute, drug addict, and gang member has chosen to relinquish those titles for a new one: high-school graduate.

Catarina Morales Reyna, 49, is one of 110 graduating students from the Sanger Adult School class of 2018.

Reyna came from a life of abuse and disfunction. She was introduced to drugs at a very young age and ended up serving a five-year prison sentence. Reyna became involved in prostitution and gang activity. Eventually, she lost custody of six of her seven children.

Instead of letting her past define her, she decided to turn her life around. Furthermore, her graduation is just the tip of the iceberg of all she has accomplished.

Reyna has been drug free for seven years, out of prison for ten, and has regained custody of all of her children.

“I feel extremely proud of myself,” she said. “I’m so happy I’m overflowing with joy. I’m sitting here tearing up cause it’s hitting me that… at the age of 49, ex-drug addict, ex-prostitute, ex-gang banger, I’m getting my diploma. I’m truly blessed. God is good!”

She praised her late church pastor, mentor, and friend, Daniel Zabalza, for his hand in her success.

“He taught me a lot,” Reyna said. “He showed me unconditional love and support and I know that if he was here he’d be so proud of me today.”

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