ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Everyone has a passion in life. For 42-year-old Dawn Stope that passion is cooking. She said she has always dreamed of owning her own catering business but one ingredient stood in her way.
"Alcohol was always around," said Stope.
At the age of eight, Stope took her first sip.
"I mixed all these drinks together and the way it made me feel is how I wanted to feel all the time," Stope said.
She said she was awkward kid and alcohol gave her confidence. Alcohol also became her best friend. However, this friend soon became her enemy.
"It turned into a terrible addiction," Stope said. It ran my life. It became my god."
She said she would drink every day.
"I would drink everyday to die and I couldn't die. No matter how much alcohol I consumed I couldn't die," Stope said.
Then one day Stope finally had enough and decided to get clean. Although she said the task wasn't easy. She was kicked out of several rehab center because she just couldn't stop.
Then one day she made her way to the Lufkin Dream Center. Stope was one of the centers first intakes. The newly founded program was center on a bible base curriculum, group study, life application, and work detail.
After a year at the center Stope was the very first graduate of the program.
"It allowed me to see that there were people who believed in me. They believed more in me than I believe in myself," Stope said.
Since graduating the program, Stope has catered several of the centers events and plans to branch out once all the paper work for her business is completed.
She said while everyone has a passion in life not everyone is lucky enough to live it out.