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Stratford High School's Girls Conference

by Stacye Wilson

Entering a community partnership with Nashville’s Stratford High School has opened new avenues of healing for two of Thistle Farms’ most recognized survivor-leaders. The recent Girls Conference at Stratford was a special time of looking back, as well as forward, for Kim and Katrina. Getting to share their wisdom with a new generation of high school girls at the empowering day-long conference was an added bonus.

Kim, manager of The Shop at Thistle Farms, and Katrina, Thistle Farms' National Sales Director, say that they have known each other “forever.” They grew up together, went to Stratford High School together and always had a soft spot for each other even when addiction and street life took them in separate directions.

Katrina found her way “home” to Magdalene (Thistle Farms Residential) first, and a few years after her graduation, Kim followed. Katrina says “I was so happy to see her. I was working toward my own wellness and I wanted my friend to have the safety and love that I had grown used to. I knew we had both narrowly escaped death out there. I wanted her to live.”

“I was a little apprehensive about being back at Stratford. I quit school at 17 without finishing my senior year. Being in that building brought me back to my younger self. I needed to revisit the girl I once was. It was healing to be with the group of young ladies that we spent time with, the self-proclaimed ‘nerd girls.’ They were each smart and funny and gracious, and each of their sweet spirits played a part in the healing that happened for me on that day.”

Kim agrees wholeheartedly “Being at Stratford brought back a flood of good memories for me. I was left with gratitude for the girl I was when I went there, the woman I am now, and even the long and rocky road that girl took to get here.”

We look forward to growing this special relationship with Stratford and all of the successes we will share together! We especially look forward to witnessing everything our brilliant "Nerd Girl" friends will accomplish!

#LoveHeals

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