06 Jul Single mom put herself thru college, needs career
I grew up with what I considered a normal family, parents together, happy, and an older sister in a nice little rancher in New Jersey. In my eyes, my parents were super heroes. They could do no wrong. Little did I know by age 12/13, my world would crumble. My parents were fighting constantly from arguing over infidelity and finances to getting physical. By age 14, my parents separated and my mother moved me from my childhood home, friends and school. Being sad and lonely I started seeking the attention of boys and by the time I finished freshman year of college I had a daughter. Before I finished sophomore year, I would give birth to a son. Two babies, a year apart with two different fathers, no job, not able to complete my education and living in my mother’s house, I feel into a depression. I felt defeated by circumstances I brought upon myself. I managed to juggle my children and life and graduated from the Restaurant School with an Associate Degree in Pastry Arts. After not being able to support my children on the jobs with my degree, I decided to change careers. I went back to school and graduated from Cittone Institute with a Medical Assistant Certificate. I was able to get a great job, which I had for over ten years that helped me care for my children. I worked, was a single mom with two children but was determined to continue on my journey to finish my Bachelor degree. I was also able to buy us a townhome. Life seemed to be going well. School, work and my kids were doing well in spite of the trials we faced. Life was good.
And then… two years after buying my home I found myself unemployed. After 10 years of working at the same company, working my way up the ladder, I was laid off.
So the job search began. Although I was sad from losing my job, I also saw the positive side. I was finally getting a break as I really hadn’t taken a vacation in all that time working and I could get my assignments done earlier and not late at night tired after a long day. Little did I know this break from working would be much longer than I ever anticipated. In October of 2015, I no longer had any form of income and no potential employment offers. All of the recruiters said the same thing-the companies’ want a degree. It didn’t matter that I was still in school and would finish in a few months or that I had 10 years of experience. I received rejection email after rejection email.
Present day, I am still unemployed but my faith has kept me from falling apart. This time of not working has afforded me the opportunity to finish school without any outside stressors. On June 24, 2016, I walked across the stage to the cheers of my kids and family and accepted my Bachelor Degree in Technical Management with a specialization in Health Services Management. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA.To make it even better, my daughter graduated from high school a week before me and is on her way to George Mason University to study Psychology and Criminology. My son is entering his senior year of high school with a goal to attend Valley Forge University to study Pastoral Counseling.
When I look back at what I went through from a ending up with a broken family to becoming a mom of two before 20 years of age, raising them on my own, multiple jobs, tumultuous and failed relationships to unemployment, most would give up and be defeated. But I survived. I came out on top and I’m a better and stronger person because of it. Now I am wishing for a career that will afford me to continue caring for my children.