My Success Story- Foster Kid to Adulthood
My years in foster care were difficult. I was in and out of the system since I was 9 years old. I came from a rough background, I always thought that no one cared for me or even loved me. Growing up without a mother or father was very difficult for me. Even though they both are living their lives, they were never there for me. As a result of their neglect, I made a lot of bad decisions in my life. I suffered from abuse; neglect and abandonment. I went through a lot of traumatic experiences. I hung out with the wrong crowd, I ran away a few times, and I barely graduated from high school. I fought a lot and I gang banged. A family member’s boyfriend sexually assaulted me. I also had my 1st child at the age of 15. Life for me was very hard; I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. I was very angry and I felt hopeless. Everyone I thought loved and cared for me, wasn’t there for me at all; they never helped me.
I used to always wonder and ask God why me? Why did I have to go through the things that I went through? When was it going to stop? I was just a child and I had no one to teach, guide or protect me. I basically had to fend for myself, which wasn’t easy. At one of my lowest points while in foster care I was introduced to these people at SMA. I had been to other organizations but there was never a connection. I though SMA would be the same. I was wrong. From the very beginning I could see they really cared. I've seen fake care before, this wasn't fake. The people at SMA really helped me to deal with the challenges I was facing. Ms. Tiffany was more like a friend than a case worker. I could call on her at anytime. The programs at SMA helped me in my personal life and assisted me in manage all the things that come at you when you become an adult. They even helped me with tutoring while I was in high school. When I needed a job, because I wanted to get my own apartment once I graduated high school, SMA helped me with that. They gave me the resources and support to get a lot of things done.
I have gone to school and picked up a trade and received my certification. I found employment shortly after earning my certification. I’ve been on my job for over a year now. I’m also currently attending Southwest Tennessee Community College in hopes of picking up another trade.
After seeing what the people at SMA do for others I decided to major is Social Work. My GPA is a 4.0 and I’ve been making all A’s. Although, It can be a little challenging at times, working in the mornings, being a mother and attending school at night; I am very determined to succeed.
I am very proud of myself. I never thought I would every say that. I truly appreciate Ms. Tiffany and my SMA family; they have always been positive and encouraged me to Dream Big! Especially Ms. Tiffany, when she doesn’t hear from me, she’ll call and make sure my children and I are okay. She always says that she and SMA are here for me. It really means a lot to me and it shows a lot because SMA has not left my side even after I aged out of foster care.
I decided to share my story to let others know that they are not alone. You're not the only one. "Don’t let your past define your future."