I was in the 8th grade when I had my oldest. He’s 22 now. And I’m doing my best to teach my two sons what they need to do to become productive adults when they grow up. I don’t want my sons to be a stereotype. I don't want people to look at them and think they come from a broken home.
It’s important to me that my children know how to carry themselves and they know what they need to do to become productive adults when they grow up. I never want anyone to think of my children as slackers or that they come from a broken home. I don't want people to think they’re worthless and that they’ll amount to nothing. That’s my biggest fear.
So, I am teaching my boys how to be honest, law-abiding citizens. I am teaching them that school is a priority and that it’s their responsibility to take full advantage of their right to an education.
I tell them that to crush stereotypes they have to rise above the stereotypes.
I’ve learned from my actions. It was a bad decision to have a baby so young but my son was not a mistake. There’s a reason for everything, and I really believe that. And I always do what I have to for my sons.
And until now that has meant having a lot of different jobs. I used to work as a corrections officer, but it got to the point where the risks were getting higher. The inmate-officer assaults were becoming a real concern, and I had to make the choice to leave because I want to be there for my children for a long time.
You know, kids...they think they know everything. My oldest son is trying to get into the workforce, and I find myself always telling him that he’s just getting started and it’s going take time to get to where you want. As long as you have enough money to pay for necessities, you’re not broke.
Once you take care of your responsibilities and if you have a roof above your head, clothes on your back, then you’re doing ok! And if you don't have funds for fun, that’s ok too. The fun will come later.
— DeNasha R. from Greenville, SC