Nazareth hosts ‘A Celebration of Healing and Hope’

[anvplayer video=”5098588″ station=”998131″]

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WHEC) — Nazareth College spoke Thursday night in what it said was in celebration of Women’s History Month and Social Work Month.

Alumna Dellenna Harper, author of "God’s Teardrop: My journey of healing from addiction and prostitution." spoke to a live and virtual audience in an event called "A Celebration of Healing and Hope".

She spoke about her experience of being addicted to crack cocaine for about 10 years and experiencing prison and homelessness until she ended up getting arrested for prostitution in Rochester.

When she was released from Monroe County Jail, she entered a prison ministry program sponsored by Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester called The Jennifer House. She then lived at the YWCA in Rochester for about two years before moving into her own apartment in Irondequoit.

She ended up earning an associate’s degree in addictions counseling from MCC, a bachelor’s degree in social work from Nazareth and a master’s degree in social work from the Greater Rochester Collaborative of The College at Brockport and Nazareth.

News10NBC had the opportunity to speak with her Thursday night.

"My parents, when I was using, I just prayed that they see me clean and I’m a caretaker of them today," Harper said. "And so it’s such a blessing and it’s a gift that I’ve had the opportunity to have two lives in one lifetime."

The event was sponsored by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Monroe Community College, Nazareth College, the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County’s annual STAND Against Racism 2022.