Rising Health Hero: Leslie King
Originally posted on MLive.com
- Darren Breen | The Grand Rapids Press
On a mission: Leslie King-Borrego, CEO/founder of Sacred Beginnings Women’s Transitional Program in Grand Rapids, is a former prostitute and drug user. She wanted to create a place where women can come to change their lifestyle.
At 47, King-Borrego is the founder of Sacred Beginnings, a residential program and support service for women overcoming addiction and sexual exploitation.
Her challenges: She is a survivor of sexual abuse as a child, drug addiction and prostitution. She also has suffered episodes of coronary artery spasms called Prinzmetal’s angina.
Her accomplishments: She has helped more than 400 women through Sacred Beginnings — and they have gone on to help others in the program. She recently formed a board of directors for her program with plans to offer inpatient rehabilitation services. A college student, she plans to graduate this summer with a bachelor’s degree in social work.
What makes her a hero: “She offers healing environments in which women can heal, embrace sobriety and receive support,” says Charlene Mallory, a Sacred Beginnings graduate who is now in college. “She saved my life, and I’m sure many others would claim the same.”
Her words of wisdom: “Take control of your health — mental, emotional, physical and spiritual — because if you don’t take control of your health, eventually it will take control of you.”