All things are possible through God. However, in order to see your dreams come true, you must combine your faith in God with your own strength and determination. I was in ninth grade when I dropped out of school in 1999. I never made it past the ninth grade. In 2001, went through the my local Texas Workforce Center and took GED prep classes. I then received my GED in 2002.
I simply walked into my local Workforce center and asked if they knew how I could go about getting my GED and they led me from there. I’ve recently learned you can pay for GED prep classes, however the classes I took were free and I would always suggest seeking out your local free options first. After doing some more research, it turns out that there is a new site called Region 5 Education Service Center. This is the program Texas Workforce uses for GED assistance and other education assistance programs. Once I received my GED, I felt like I was done. I thought that was the most I would do in life.
Flash forward to 2009, ten years since I’ve been in school, and my life had changed tremendously. My children were now ten and six, and I wanted to show them that their mother never gave up. I wanted to show myself! I chose a local 2 year state college. The prices were reasonable and the location was convenient. I had to take a test since I hadn’t graduated high school, but getting in was not very difficult. I was eligible for Financial Aid, scholarships, and grants. It wasn’t easy! But I refused to quit. This is when I learned my capabilities were endless as long as I was breathing.
With no high school education, I certainly felt like my challenges were greater than the young graduate students around me. I learned that in order to succeed I was going to have to get to know my professors on a personal level. I needed extra help, and I had to be willing to suck up my pride and ask for it. With determination, struggle, and a no quit attitude, I graduated in 2012 with honors and received my Associates in Education. You can never let your self doubt hold you back. In order to advance in life, you have to be willing to challenge yourself BEYOND what you think you are capable of.
I’ve always know that I was not alone in my struggles. There are many young women out there just like me. Who, like me, were not raised to think about college. Growing up, I was under the assumption that everyone got government assistance. I had no clue it was a poverty thing. I learned at a young age how to “work the system” and I truly thought that was my only future option. There are many teen moms like me who are not pushed to seek out education. In order to get to where I’m at now, I had to turn my back on everything I was raised understand. I had to free my mind of all preconditioned ideas, and create my own independent view on life, my future, and now, my kids future. I knew I had a responsibility to raise them differently.
In order to do more, your going to have BELIEVE for a second that you can do better. When they say “Break the chain” imagine the biggest chain your mind can foresee. A chain built for a 20 foot giant with two heads and an uncontainable temper. Now, imagine that you and only you, hold the purest sword made of finest metal on earth. This sword is your faith, your will, and your determination. Now, take that sword, and slice through that chain like butter, and now your FREE!
Once I removed myself from my friends and my family, I was able to decide my own future based on my own views. I stepped out of my comfort zone, and I challenged myself. The best part, is that I actually accomplished what I had convinced myself was completely out of reach for me. That new found strength has encouraged me to challenge others. Since I have done all this, it has been my passion to help other young women AND men get to a place of success instead of a place of comfort.
In comes Cristabell (seen in the featured picture). She is the first person who was introduced to me as a young woman who wanted to challenge herself, but wasn’t sure where to start. I certainly can’t take all the credit here. She absolutely had the willingness to get things going. She just wasn’t sure where to start. Together we have gotten her to a point where she is starting college this fall.
I couldn’t be prouder of this young woman. She was at college orientation in the picture above, and she has been on top of her game from day one. She texts or calls me with any questions she has and I help her as much as I can along the way. I’m honored to have met Cristabell, her baby, and her family. She has not allowed her current situation to destroy her. She has turned it into her motivation, and I can’t wait to update on her as time goes by!
I would like to extend an olive branch to any young person out there who feels they are capable of more, but just not sure where to start. I am open to comments or questions. I want to see the statistics change!
I believe that together, older parents who were teen parents and current teen parents can make this change. Let’s build a better future for ourselves and our children!