Candice McKim was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM. She was addicted to heroin and crack for 7 years and decided to change her life when she learned that she was pregnant. She has not used for 5 years.
Candice was sexually assaulted at a young age and then repeatedly assaulted when she lived on the streets. She suffers from PTSD from these assaults. She believes that women have the right to be in control of their own bodies and that there is never an excuse for sexual assault. She hopes that by telling her story through photography, she can draw women together to engage in conversation about these issues and ultimately move toward justice for victims. “Being raped takes everything from you,” she says, “but getting help and having your story listened to helps you reclaim yourself.”
Candice enjoys spending time with her family, taking her daughter to the park, the movies and swimming. She couldn’t be so successful without the support of her boyfriend and her family. She also appreciates ongoing counseling and the friendly staff of La Familia Medical Center.
Candice hopes to complete her GED and advance her career to build a better life for her daughter. She is also happy to report that she is Hepatitis C-free. Candice likes taking pictures because it’s soothing and fun, and she has learned a great deal about herself by doing so. She enjoys being able to see clearly and live a sober life.
Nikki Romero is a mother of 3 from Santa Fe, NM. She believes strongly in women’s rights and supporting women who have been victims of domestic violence. She has felt the effect of the stigma of addiction in her life, as someone who was formerly addicted to heroin, and hopes that by sharing her story she can open peoples’ minds.
Nicole attends many domestic violence and parenting support groups and strives to be the best mom she can be by teaching her daughters the difference between right and wrong, how to take care of themselves and how to be emotionally stable. She hopes to soon complete her Community Health Worker certificate at Santa Fe Community College so that she can help others in her situation. Her message to those suffering from addiction is to not give up on their health, which is the source of life.
Nicole likes to take afternoon walks with her family, make photographs and appreciate her daughters’ laughs. According to her daughter, “my mom should believe that she can do anything.”
Jolene Martinez is a mother of 3 from Santa Fe, NM. She believes strongly in God, that things happen for a reason and that individuals can recover from addiction if they are committed to making it happen.
Jolene has struggled with domestic violence and not having a stable home. She used heroin for a year and a half and entered treatment after getting out of jail for the last time. She credits her time in jail for helping her get her head clear through bible study. “But when you get out, it’s hard,” she says, “Everything you planned, you have to make it happen.” When Jolene learned she was pregnant with her third child, she committed to staying off heroin.
Jolene loves photographing her kids. Her two older children are being put up for adoption through the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), and she visits them every opportunity she gets. She likes taking pictures of moments with them and their fleeting expressions. She hopes that her story can expose the injustice of CYFD and how it is separating her family and making her recovery more challenging.
Jolene likes to draw, chat with her family, make art, play games and joke with her kids and see how much her baby changes and learns every day. “I didn’t know what love was until my son was born, and I held him in my arms,” she says, “All I want to do is be a good mom to them.”