Kolendra’s Story

For a long time, shame consumed Kolendra’s life. She had dropped out of school at 17, was pregnant at 19, got divorced at 21 and was pregnant again at 25.

In her own words, she thought of herself as a broken, uneducated, torn, angry woman who failed to fit in, failed to speak and dress properly, and failed to complete anything. In 2013, while living in Georgia, Kolendra decided to take her two children to California, hoping for a better life. On the way, they drove into Houston and fell in love with all its possibilities. Her son and daughter begged her to stay. After a month of hotel hopping, they found an apartment. Kolendra knew that if they were going to make it here, she needed to find a job, and she knew she needed it quickly. Workforce solutions referred her to Dress for Success Houston and when she arrived, she knew she was in the right place. From her first experience with a volunteer personal shopper to the women she met in PWG, Dress for Success has supported and encouraged Kolendra to work towards achieving her goals – one of which was to become a realtor. Last year, she was awarded an Altman-Goldstein scholarship to attend real estate courses. Kolendra just passed the state and national exams (on her first try!) and is proud to say that she is now a Texas realtor (who just showed her first house this past weekend!). Kolendra believes in the countless possibilities that the future now holds, for herself and her children.