Blog: Embracing the Future - Alternatives For Girls

If you feel your safety is threatened, you can quickly exit this website by pressing the Escape key or clicking the X in the bottom right-hand corner.





Blog: Embracing the Future

Mar. 26 2012

Posted on March 26, 2012 by Casandra

About the blogger: Casandra is an AFG Shelter resident who is also a college student majoring in the Culinary Arts. She would like to open her own restaurant in the future.

This post is a “Projection Speech” written by Casandra. At the completion of our Transition to Independent Living classes, students in the program are asked to write a Projection Speech in which they imagine what their live will be like in 20 years, and include how they were able to accomplish their goals.

Hello my name is Casandra. I’m a motivational speaker. I’m also the Owner and head Chef at Ritz, a five star restaurant located in Downtown Detroit. I’ve been married for 15 years to a wonderful man who has been in my corner since day one. We have two beautiful girls. My family is very supportive and loving. We stay in the City of Detroit.

We have our own charity called The Foundation for Neglected Children and another for the homeless. We often give back to the City of Detroit to help children and adults with things they may be struggling with. I started these two foundations because I know that everything isn’t always easy. Coming from these two backgrounds I decided I wanted to try and lend a helping hand to as many people as I could.

It wasn’t a walk in the park getting where I am today. When I was sixteen I became homeless. I had no family or a stable place to go. Moving from house to house I told myself this isn’t ok –I need help. I stayed in a homeless shelter for girls called Alternatives For Girls for two years until I was able to stand on my own two feet. A.F.G. helped me to become an independent woman. They helped mold me into the woman I am today. They became my family when I had no family. I learned that it was okay to accept help from others instead of depending on myself all the time. When I first came to A.F.G., I felt like I had no one and that my life wasn’t worth living. They helped me realize everybody has a purpose.

They helped me enroll in Henry Ford Community College there I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science of Culinary Arts. I had a hard time in classes with everything going on in my life. I skipped classes, didn’t study. I just didn’t apply myself because my whole life I was told I wouldn’t be anything. Always hearing this I started to believe it. I said why try when I can’t do. I looked at myself like I couldn’t because I believed what other people were telling me. Instead of trying to prove them wrong I settled in the beliefs of others.

When I graduated from high school, I started telling myself I could do not only because I had to but because I knew I had potential and wasn’t living up to my standards.

I knew I was and could do better than what I was doing so I decided it was time to take control of the things I could control. That’s when I started feeling myself slowly changing. That’s when I figured out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I started going to all of my classes getting help if I needed it. I graduated with a 3.8 G.P.A. while in school I learned the cooking and business side of culinary. When my four years were up I graduated and I took out a loan to open my own restaurant. My husband is my business partner, I wanted to be an owner and head chef I knew I couldn’t do it alone; Our business officially opened in 2016 and has been a prospering ever since.

I am here today to tell you if you have something in mind that you want to do don’t look for others to believe in you. You have to know for yourself that you can do it before you expect somebody else to believe in you. You can do whatever you put your mind to.

Sign up to stay informed