The Open Door to Breaking Cycles

The Mission is Transitioning!!

The Full-Circle Transition!

1971-1998: The Furnace That Started The Open Door

The founder of The Open Door, Deana Cerniglia, was born to a teen mother and abandoned by her father. She and her mother lived a top a bar with her alcoholic grandmother and abusive boyfriend. Many dysfunctional things occurred. Doors were opened to drug abuse, children out of wedlock, dropping out of high school, sexual abuse, abandonment and the list goes on.

She grew up with one pivotal person in her life that helped change the course of her journey and became a type of mentor to Deana’s young, abandoned teen mother. However, this didn’t prevent many of the uneducated decisions and dysfunctional cycles. It was through determination and perseverance that Deana broke the cycle, went to college, went on to get her masters and met and married a stable, loving and supportive husband.


2009-2011 The Open Door, Mentoring For Teen Mothers is Born

Eventually, Deana had the prompting to open a program for teen mothers. It was her mission to help others break generational cycles for themselves and their children. It was an amazing experience with many trials and obstacles that come with opening a nonprofit. There was a lot to learn and a lot of hats to wear, but the program was launched in 2010 with it’s first luncheon fundraiser in 2011.

1999-2009 Helping Others Parent!

In a very pivotal time in Deana’s marriage and her own journey into motherhood, she realized she had suppressed her abusive past and it was starting to come to the surface. After finding God, seeking unanswered questions and finding forgiveness, Deana went on to write a parenting book utilizing the Book of Proverbs to help others raise their children with God’s wise Words. She finally published in 2009. 


2011-2013 Our First Graduation Class!

The Open Door welcomed it’s first group of women and their mentors. It was one of the most amazing experiences. We became like family and through many lessons learned, four young mothers graduated from the life skill accountability program. Right here is where Deana decided to write a candid memoir about her family and breaking cycles. The book begins with her great-grandmother and takes the reader through four generations of deep, dark, family secrets and how she broke free from the curse. Breaking Cycles, LLC was launched, waiting for the memoir to be completed.

2014-2015  More Women’s Programs!

The Open Door added a second mentoring program. We were networking, writing grants, fundraising, training, recruiting mentors, adding board members, staff (yes, we were able to pay our program directors). But something was in the air. You could feel it. Like a hurricane that hasn’t hit the shores, yet you sense the barometric pressure change. There was a societal shift happening that was about to explode.  However, Deana’s book was completed and published, but her LLC, Breaking Cycles, along with her book, had to be put on the back burner, because despite what was in the air, The Open Door was taking off!  Between her young family and growing non-profit, the book would have to wait. 

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” 

– Proverbs 31:25

2016-2017  Still Picking Up Speed!

As the blessings poured in and growth continued on, the societal air continued getting heavier. Yet, we could have never foreseen what was coming. So, we added more women’s programs. There were three programs for mothers and through people who were passionate for the program and the father’s role in a family, we launched a program for fathers, complete with mentors of their own.

2017-2019 It Came Upon Shore!

Something called the SJW movement was in the mainstream media focus. Our country was being bombarded by accusations of discriminatory practices and privilege for certain members of our nation. We were slowly removing accountability from our society. 

As a result, we saw a change in the participation of our accountability program. We couldn’t fill the three programs for women and we couldn’t keep the fathers engaged. A mixture of our welfare system’s bad policies and personal responsibility was being removed from our culture, it took a direct hit on any programs that required progress and participation in making healthier choices. That included The Open Door, now named The Open Door/Breaking Family Cycles.

2019-2020  Praying and Shifting Course
The Open Door closed the father’s program and the board voted to condense all three mother’s programs into one the following year. We had stopped writing grants in 2019 and stopped fundraising (thank God, because the virus hit the world and everything came to an abrupt halt). We at The Open Door had started every year with over $100,000 in our banking account since 2016. This particular year, because of generous donors, we were starting our year with over $160,000. It was such a blessing to be able to move forward with this new plan and not have to worry about financial stability. It was also decided by the board, that we would dissolve the non-profit once we finished the last year of 2020-2021. We couldn’t even fill one program.

Deana decided to rewrite her book and include all the societal lessons she learned through this 10 year journey. The memoir became more focused and much more powerful. She also went on to get certified in REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy) and started rewriting all the curriculum from the three year Open Door program utilizing this technique: changing irrational beliefs that are a catalyst to unhealthy choices. 

2020-2021 Closing Our Doors and Opening Others
As God would have it, we had plenty of money for two years to get us through this transition. Deana decided to take the curriculum that she had created over the past five years and offer it on-line to people who wanted real change. Who would have known that on-line services would be the wave of the future? Well, we know One who does, and He put us into gear before-hand!
Deana created a curriculum for incarcerated fathers, chemically dependent parents, teen parents and parents in general. It is her hope that prisons, hospitals and clinics will utilize this 40 week certification program to help bring accountability and personal responsibility back into our personal growth while learning the life skills it requires to be excellent parents, fiscally responsible, socially and emotionally stable, spiritually seeking and well-rounded participants of our society. 
The program director that stayed on to finish our last year, Allison Overstreet, is currently going to school for her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, specializing in Trauma and Crisis Intervention. She currently holds her BA in Psychology and with her counseling background, Deana’s Psychology degree and Masters in Education, they decided to work on an 8 week Trauma Curriculum together. Dr. Lina Liken is offering her 5 week curriculum on The Five Secrets to Social Success with Biblical Principals and both curriculums will be a part of the 40 week curriculum/program to help break generational cycles. 
It is with a hopeful heart that this full circle moment will impact our society in a powerful and effective way. Deana is filled with excitement for all the possibilities and ability to continue to evolve and be flexible with the state of our culture. In shifting from the non-profit realm, to the for-profit/small business realm, she continues to be grateful for your support, no matter what platform she finds herself on.

Deana wants to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers, Board of Directors, Program Directors and Mentors who were willing to see this through, even though there weren’t many to take them up on their offer. You are appreciated and will forever be a part of the ‘story’. 

Deana looks forward to what’s ahead and continues trusting in a higher plan that can see off-shore storms and accommodate swiftly and powerfully.