2013 VOF Week 2 The Journey that Lead Me to World Pulse!
My story begins from an angry place. Growing up I was exposed to violence, chaos, abuse, date rape, and drugs. It was a combination of extremes. Love existed, as did neglect and trauma. I always found a way to survive my circumstances. I did what I could to earn money for myself such as cutting grass, shoveling snow, yard sales, and back yard work.
My mom was a single mother and distant drug user. She was a strong woman and worked hard but much of the money went to her addictions. I was placed in charge of most household duties by 9, including caring for her when she was ‘sick’.
A handful of times I saw my father growing up. He was a drug user too. His absence did not bother me until I met him a few years ago and realized our relationship replicated many of my past failed relationships.
By 16, I was on my own completely and by 17, incarcerated. While there, I was intentionally hurt by a transport sheriff. No one would listen to my voice that I did not deserve being hurt by him. At 19 I became pregnant. I am blessed by God because her presence saved me from so much. With my godparents help I went school. Eventually, I got my M.B.A. but there were no jobs, so I started a small consulting business. All I had to make a living with was my knowledge acquired through education.
My hometown’s poverty rate was high with frequent violence and high unemployment. I moved to New York to start fresh. Disappointingly, the job that I found was not for me. I noticed a lingering insensitivity for women with children and recognized it as a barrier. Women were absent from many of the male groups and were increasingly reprimanded for time off.
I went back to being an entrepreneur because I could care from my child and invest back into us. An issue remained, potential clients were predominantly male. A few made advances on me and others would not take me seriously. When the behaviors were addressed as wrong, some rejected doing business with me. I witnessed men using perversion to make women uncomfortable and rejection as a tool to hinder confidence.
I started to reach out to my social media connections offering any resources I had available to build opportunity. World Pulse inspired me to believe I could help with the limited resources I had. Just listening to other women’s stories encouraged me to set my goals higher and not give up. I put my faith in God rather than into fearing judgment.
I plan to build a business that partners’ with community resources and women programs that educate and help finance women based projects worldwide, publish my book, and open a yoga/dance studio. With all these dreams in mind, I never lose sight of the most important dream of all, making a path for my daughter’s dreams to come true.