Author: FSH Participant and UofL GRADUATE, Terenca
A few years ago in the early morning hours I fled with my child from my abusive marriage from Dallas, TX and came home to Louisville, KY. Within a split second, the action of escaping my abuser left me homeless, jobless, and mentally defeated. However, being free did not change the reality that was upon me…I was a single parent in a financial crisis. I knew the only way to make life better for me and my daughter was to get my degree in a field that would allow me to do what I loved for the rest of my life. I had to force myself to realize that if I could find the strength to free myself from abuse; I could do anything…we would make it!
In 2011 I was accepted as a resident at Family Scholar House. Family Scholar House offered me the opportunity to provide stable housing for us while I worked toward achieving my educational goal. I seized the opportunity and never looked backed. While in the program I had the privilege of attending the University of Louisville. It was very difficult for me going to school full-time while being a single parent. In addition to the obstacles that come with being a single parent attending school full-time; I also dealt with the challenges that arose due to my depression. Throughout my time in school I have undergone two major surgeries, however, I have never missed a semester. There were even times that I had to take my daughter to classes with me. No matter what happened…giving up was not an option for me!
University of Louisville offers a new major titled Individualized Major; this major required a 2.75 cumulative and a minimum of three areas concentrations. I enthusiastically chose this major because it allowed me to customize my degree to fit my educational and professional goals. I proudly graduated with my BA- Individualized Major concentrations American Sign Language Interpreter, Communication, and Business. Soon, I will advocate and provide shelter for Deaf and Hard of Hearing domestic abuse victims. I have learned so much about myself on this journey and I will tell you this,
Terenca’s bracelet she made that symbolizes how important it is for her to succeed! Succeed in education and in being a wonderful role model for her daughter, Nailah.
“You will feel tired and overwhelmed, but know you will succeed. Surround yourself with positive and trustworthy people and accept their support to help keep you going. Make necessary adjustments, laugh as much as possible, cry when you need to and never give up…you will reach you goal. I know because I did!”