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Hi there, my name is Alissa, I am 29 years of age, and of Samoan and European descent.
In my spare time I like to draw and paint, and would like to look into getting a tattoo apprenticeship, as tattoos are a big passion of mine. I also love music and shopping, which I’m sure every female does, and this is another reason why I’m excited about getting my degree, and earning some real money to be able to provide for my family.
Since I have been with the RAW programme my life has been nothing short of amazing, and the opportunities that we have been given just don’t exist in the world we live in, especially to an ex-convict.

Unlike a lot of the girls on the RAW programme, I have had quite a blessed upbringing for which I am thankful, however in 2011 I lost my mother unexpectedly from heart complications, and in that same year lost my father from metastatic cancer.

Due to a lot of pent up emotion I turned to alcohol to lighten the load, which led me to my offending, a charge of GBH on a police constable. Two years after being on bail, I was then sentenced to a two and half year prison sentence. I was devastated that I wasn’t going to be there to raise my girls and be there for them.
Being in prison was a real wake up call for me, because I always knew in my heart that I would be capable ofgreat things, but I just had difficulty with believeing in myself enough to take the leap.

So, when I finally had the chance to talk to Rebecca and some of the RAW girls while they were visiting the prison, I knew this was something I had my heart set on. And with the support of my in-laws I took the leap. No regrets whatsoever, and I know that I am now set for life, very much looking forward to completing my degree, and making my family proud, and to also give back however I can to all those who have supported me through this journey.
I can’t say how grateful I am to Annah, Bex, Gina and the rest of the RAW girls for living this journey alongside me. And to all those wonderful people who have opened up doors for us when others would have slammed them shut and locked them.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Alissa xx