I believe that children that come from what some might see as an impoverished home can step away from the statistics and become successful, happy adults. In my case, it took my incredible mother, extended family, and church family. My mother raised three children virtually on her own. She did though make sure that we were involved in our church which provided much support for us throughout the years. My mom recently told me that when we first joined the church some of the members saw that she needed a car. They gave her one, along with a full years paid insurance. We also stayed very close to my mother’s siblings. One summer I even stayed the whole time with my aunt and uncle while my mom worked at a summer camp where she could earn much more money that she could at home. I loved being with my aunt and uncle who had children my age and lived out in the country. We often played outside from morning till lunch and then went right back out to our pretend world we had made for ourselves. I’m sure I knew that I was poor, but it didn’t seem to be an issue for me. I remember my mom balancing her check book in hopes that checks had cleared. I remember when Dairy Queen came out with the Blizzard and my mom making it at home instead of buying if from the store. I didn’t know it was because we didn’t have the money for such things.
My sister was the first to graduate from high school on my father’s side. She earned a master’s degree in early childhood special education from Kansas University. My brother has a bachelor’s degree in print management from Pittsburg State University and I am about to complete a degree in adaptive special education from Emporia State University. My mom worked evening while she attended and graduated from college the same year I graduated from high school. She even cleaned houses that I would find out were my friends homes. I don’t know how my friends felt about it, but at the time, I just knew it was what needed to be done. I often wonder if I would have seen college in my future if my mother had not instilled the importance of education in each of us. I saw how hard she worked and now as an adult I know I can do anything. She has inspired me to never give up and always be responsible for myself. I believe that with love and support one can accomplish anything.