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A Girl, A Mother, A Survivor

My life was less than perfect growing up, and I add no blame to my parents for that. I was like most teenagers; I thought I knew everything there was to know about life even though I had barely experienced it. I felt like I was invincible, and walked around acting like life owed me excitement and thrills without consequence. Life, however, did not meet my expectations. It was during the summer of July 2008 that I got a rude awakening. I was pregnant, and the future I hadn’t even got a chance to live was over, or so it would appear at the time.

Contrary to society’s belief that all teenage pregnancies end in disaster, I knew my pregnancy was saving me from one. My ‘YOLO’ (you only live once) philosophy had been taking me down a road I would have never survived. Somehow, the thought of having life growing inside me rewired my way of thinking, and life was no longer about satisfying my own selfish desires. The very thing that most people thought would destroy me is the very thing that ended up saving me. It was like my unborn child was subconsciously challenging me, driving me to rise above the statistics that the world has laid out for me.

At the time, the thought of achieving that seemed impossible. I questioned myself and my capabilities. What success could a 17-year-old drop out have at raising a child? I had never even had a job before, and could barely manage to keep my room clean. The odds seemed to be stacked against me, but I didn’t have time for a pity party. If I was ever going to make a life for me and my child I had to come up with a plan. There were two things that I knew absolutely had to be done if I was going to prove that I was serious about becoming a mother. First, I needed to change my setting, my lifestyle and my habits, and then I needed to get back in school. I knew working would be a necessity and that a G.E.D (General education Diploma) would be better than no diploma.

It was hard not to become overwhelmed. I knew what I had to do, but was clueless about how or where to begin. It was through Florence Crittenton Services, that I finally found my footing. This organization would provide the jumpstart I needed to establish myself. The constant care, diligence (and sometimes nagging) I received kept me focused on what was most important. I made it my priority to study for my G.E.D every chance I got, and surrounded myself around other positive moms who were hopeful about their future. Within fifty day, or less, I was able to complete and pass all my exams on the first try.

I can’t quite explain the feeling I felt when I received my diploma on my 18th birthday. I kept it close, as if it were a life source, which in many ways it was. It was a reminder of what hard work and determination can get you. By the end of my stay, at FCS, I had managed to receive a certificate in banking and customer service, and even make a few good friends out of other mothers who lived there.

There have been many things I have accomplished since leaving FCS. The main thing, raising my daughter with the love and diligence all children deserve. My life is, by no means, a fairytale. I have had some good days as well as bad. I have still made my share of mistakes, and learned from them. I have shed many tears since those past four year, and will probably shed many more. I have lost friends, and even at times lost faith, but if anyone asked me if I felt successful I would hold my head high and answer “yes”. It is through my hardships and struggles that I have learned that success first begins in the mind. Every day I push pass my insecurity’s, and continue to work towards achieving my goals, is a day I have been successful.

Having a child young did not put a stop to my life; it simply turned a new chapter in it.

Kimberly R.
April 5, 2013
Florence Crittenton Services