A past FSH graduate and now Family Advocate for FSH, reflected back on her journey and those that helped her little family achieve their biggest dream!
One day our kiddos landed on the playground together. Our kids (my son and her daughter) LOVED being outside. We started talking and quickly realized our journeys had similarities and we were working toward some of the same goals. As we talked, we glanced over and realized our little humans were having a blast together.
We had both just recently moved into Stoddard Johnston Scholar House (her on the 1st floor and me on the 3rd). We were both going to school full-time, working and trying to be the best moms we could be to our little ones. We were both making penny’s stretch as long as we could, living on extreme budgets and spending hours upon hours diving into our studies. Over the course of our time at SJSH, we had many late nights on the porch with neighbors talking each other through hardships, sharing our goals and supporting one another. (Grateful to have an entire community of single-parents – all pursuing the same ultimate goal – graduation and full self-sufficency) Even on our hardest days, we were all grinding to ensure we met our goals, loved our kiddos and became successful women – that could provide for our families.
There were many more days spent on that playground with our kids. We both graduated, moved into our own homes and pursued different career paths, we have always stayed in touch. Our kids love each other and we still fiercely support each other, as we each work toward new goals we have set for ourselves. You see, the bonds made at FSH last long after graduation day!
A few weeks ago, we joined together and took our kids on their first trip to LegoLand. When you work THAT HARD for something it makes it that much more special when it’s made possible. Every single laugh, hug, giggle, and step was monumental.
Yes, it took us – time, tears, therapy, saving, moves, coffee, making mistakes and learning, frugal lifestyles, boundaries, prayers, support from Family Scholar House, support from each other and relentlessly pursuing what we knew we needed to.
The last night of our vacation, we were soaking in the fact that WE got to take them on a vacation, solely from each of our own bank accounts and on our own. (I always dreamed of the day I could take my son on his ‘ultimate dream vacation’ – he LOVES LegoLand )
Still, as single mothers but with degrees, huge thanks to the support of where we met FAMILY SCHOLAR HOUSE. We could not have done it without those that supported us, cheered us on, watched our kids while we worked or attended night classes and those that never stopped believing in us, even when at times we doubted ourselves.
Sitting on the plane waiting to return home, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Cherishing that I have a career I love, my little human is flourishing into an intelligent compassionate little man and we can both proudly say we have both been off all government assistance since graduation!
See…we both desperately wanted to pay our own bills (like all of the families that live at FSH), we wanted to do this without assistance and WE DID but it took support from Family Scholar House, hard work, and others seeing us as capable of success.
Now, I get the opportunity to work with single parents at Family Scholar House EVERY. SINGLE. DAY and remind them that – they can do it too! Day by day…Step by step
Thank You to everyone that supports Family Scholar House and families like mine – because you believed in us, we learned to believe in ourselves!