I grew up in a poor family of 5 where my dad worked and my mother stayed home there was no money for college so after high school I attended Job Corp and earned my CNA. A few months later my dad passed away and I began to work and that’s what I was doing 2 years later when I found out I was pregnant, due to complications I was out of work and stayed home and took care of my brother who was then 11 while my mom worked. When we returned to Maine 2 and half years ago I went back to work at McDonald’s and collected TANF for me and my child. I knew that in order to provide a better life for us a degree would be necessary so when I heard about the Onward program I applied and was accepted.
The turning point in my life where I knew college was a necessity was when I could not provide for my daughter I imaged her on career day introducing me as her mom that worked at McDonalds and I knew that is not how I wanted to be described.
The counselors at Onward helped me learn how to be a student again. After being out of school for nearly 7 years I was shaky to say the least at how to even go about reading a text book let alone studying for an exam They were and still are a valuable member of my support team I still run to them with questions and they always are willing to help me find an answer.
The proudest thing that has happened to me is becoming a Peer Advisor and giving back to the new students like someone did for me. I plan on continuing my education and getting my masters in social work so I can work to help change the world for people who need help. The decision to go to school has already started to effect my 4 year old she now can’t wait till she grows up and can go to “Mommie’s” school. It has also built my confidence and my mom shines every time we talk about the fact that I am in College.
Image Description: Tina