Hello, I’m Jackie. I am 18 years old and come from a small town in North Carolina. When I got pregnant and said I was going to have my baby, my family handed me my birth certificate and said to me, “you’re homeless.” “You’re so stupid; do you even know what you’re doing?” They quickly called the police to report me as a runaway. They had brought me my belongings in three trash bags. My uncle and his girlfriend also reminded me that my mother had just gotten locked up the night before on a drug bust. So I had nowhere to turn to and no place to go.
I was placed in foster home. My foster parents took me in like I was a part of the family. They were so kind and nice, and until this day I still keep in contact with them and go to visit them in their home. They will always be family in my heart.
I left their house on June 2011 to come to Charlotte. My social worker told me about a place called “Florence Crittenton,” a program that would give me all the help I would need while being a pregnant teen and a teen parent. When I came to FCS I was sad, probably because of all of the pregnancy hormones, but also because I was leaving both my foster family and my biological family. During my stay in the maternity wing, there became a bond between me and all of the other girls, like a sisterhood. Even though I was the youngest, we were all at the same places in our lives, wondering what was next.
In August, I moved downstairs to “Sarah’s House,” and on September 20, 2011 at 5:51 am my beautiful, healthy 6lbs 12 oz 19 in baby girl came into this world. Having carried her for nine months really changed my life. It made me grow up because I knew I was bringing a child into this world and I had to set an example for her. During my pregnancy, I attended school every day and maintained A’s and B’s. When I looked into her eyes for the first time, I knew what I had to do. I knew that I wanted to provide her with a better life than I had. I was going to break a generation curse on my mom’s side and be a part of my daughter’s life and show her true love.
I started doing what I do best and applied myself in school harder and started getting back into my artwork. Through my artwork I captured the hearts of many.
I am currently on the verge of graduating, as number ten in my class. I am also a participant with the Mayor’s Youth Employment.
I want to become a graphic designer, and then eventually become an art director. To give back to my community or possibly the world, I want to start a program helping people who have been through domestic and sexual abuse.
I would also like to become a motivational speaker, telling my story of my own sexual abuse experience. In the end, I just want to plant a seed in this earth, knowing that it will never die. Just like a church hymn I remember singing, “I just can’t give up now, because I have come too far from where I started from.” So I am going to keep going because I know if I believe, I can achieve.