When you meet Heidi Lee today, you find a buttoned-up, successful career woman and mother with a big life in front of her. You’d never suspect the life that lies behind her.

“Chaos,” she says. “That’s the only way I can describe my childhood. Utter chaos.”

A broken family. Forced to live with several different relatives. Destructive relationships. And a worsening series of foster homes.

“I was spinning out of control,” she remembers. “Skipping school, drinking a lot. I knew life wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

Heidi needed a way out. But she didn’t just run away or give up. She stepped forward.

A chance meeting with an Army recruiter provided the opportunity. She walked out of her dead-end job and into boot camp. “It was a way to get a fresh start, to re-invent myself.”

But her re-invention had only begun. After the Army, she replaced the chaos of her early life with a family of her own. And a college degree, completed in half the time it takes most students, and with straight As.

But Heidi isn’t finished. Not even close. Now a brand manager at a major advertising agency, she serves as a mentor for a team of six young women. And an example for three young boys.

She steps forward every day with the goal of creating an amazing world for her children. A world she never could’ve imagined in her own childhood. And we believe she’s well on her way to doing just that.

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