Debbie came to California to live with her parents and heard about the Department of Rehabilitation’s Business Enterprise Program. She graduated from BEP in 2012 and interviewed for the vending route at the High Desert State Prison in Susanville. She was awarded the location and has become a very successful vendor.
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Debbie Deniz: I lived in Hawai’i, I have a, we live in a very remote area and you know we have a six acre coffee farm. But I couldn’t even go to the store because, it’s you know, it’s like ten miles away. I was feeling so useless, you know, cause I couldn’t do anything at home. And I couldn’t do it anymore, it was just too hard. I, I never went out. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was getting very depressed because I quit wanting to socialize, I quit wanting to see people. I just wanted to stay home where I was comfortable, where I knew where everything was.
And then I came home for a visit, my parents live in California. They were devastated when I lost my sight. My mom wanted to take out her eyes so that I could have her sight (laughs). I decided it was time to move back here, because they’re getting older, they started needing help. So, I came back here and then I heard about BEP (Business Enterprise Program). I signed up at DOR and I took the test and somehow I got in. And from there it’s been like a life change. It’s been a life change.
Kathleen Munyer, BEP Training Officer: I bet your mom was so proud of what you did in Susanville.
Debbie Deniz: She was. She was very.
Kathleen Munyer, BEP Training Officer: Isn’t it wonderful that she got to see that?
Debbie Deniz: Yep, she, she was very happy.
Kathleen Munyer, BEP Training Officer: She’s been very successful. You did a great job.
Debbie Deniz: Thank you. Don’t make me cry Kathy. (laughter)