Success Story: Jon Fuller

She came to Dismas House because of a charge for carrying a concealed weapon that landed her on probation. But after completing a 44-hour program at Dismas House Jon Fuller did not want her outpatient program to end. She said she tried to space out the last remaining sessions as long as possible because she grew so fond of her counselor, Wanda Johnson. “I love Miss Wanda and looked forward to seeing her,” said Jon. “It was her personality and her nurturing. I got from her what I didn’t get from my mother, who was mean to me. She hated me and told me she wished I hadn’t been born.”

Now the matriarch of her own family, Jon, 53, has reared six children and has 15 grandchildren. Her children are doing well with their jobs and families. “I grew up being abused but I thank God for what I went through because it helped me see things in children…I try to let them know if I can make it, they can, too.” She promised herself she would be the mother and grandmother her own mother was not.

“I want to get out there and try to make a difference with kids before they get caught up in something they shouldn’t be. It’s all a matter of choice of what to do and what not to do. I have to give credit to God (for getting back on the right track). I have to have a strong faith—it’s all I have.”

Jon wants to return to Dismas, as a visitor to see old friends there. “You really have to have compassion,” she said, “and put yourself in someone else’s shoes who is sick or debilitated. You can’t be in that line of work for the money. You have to love what you do. And love doesn’t cost a dime.”