NASHVILLE, Tenn. - When we first introduced you to Sergeant Cecilia Whitfield in February 2016, she was at rock bottom.
"I'm so tired of being homeless," she told us. When they couldn't find a church to sleep in, she and her daughter Erica slept in her car. That's also where she kept all of their belongings, including her military uniform.
“It was just a very trying time in my life,” Cecilia explained.
However, a lot has changed since we last spoke with Cecilia. Now she and her daughter have an apartment to live in, and Cecilia has turned into an entrepreneur.
“I just used my tools and made it work for me,” she said. One of her proudest accomplishments, ironically sits in the back of her vehicle. She has been making and selling her own jewelry.
Cecilia has also been cleaning homes, driving other veterans to and from medical appointments, and she's written a book called "The Mission of a Soldier 'Gurl'".
“That’s all I ever wanted. I never wanted to wake up and say, 'Oh Lord, do I have to leave today? Do I have the money to pay the bills?'” she explained.
We wanted to know what advice she has for others who may be down on their luck.
“First of all you have to admit where you’re at in your life, and then you have to ask yourself, 'Do I really want change?' And then you have to take responsibility and request help and not be ashamed to request help,” said Cecilia. “A closed mouth don’t get fed.”
She said the assistance they received from the military and local churches helped her get back on her feet. “No matter how down you are, what dark moments you’ve faced in life or you’re facing or you may have to face, you’re going to be strengthened by your challenges,” Cecilia said.