Kristian - Romulus, Michigan
Entered on June 12, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that everyone has a choice to make their own life. You can choose to successful or you can choose to be a failure. It all depends on how you look at hand you are dealt and what you choose to do with it.

I am a 22 year old mom. I have a son who will be five this year. When I was 17 I found out I was pregnant. I do not believe in abortions. This meant I only had one option in my eyes, to be a teenage parent. At this point I the odds are too good for my future. So I decided to drop out of high school in my final year because I couldn’t manage to walk up and down three flights of stairs every hour with out getting sick. Now I could have dropped out and left it at that. I could have sat at home and taken care of my child, while my parents took care of us. But I didn’t.

As soon as the school system allowed me to apply for my GED I did. I actually got my GED a month before the kids my age had graduated. I then continued to work part time at a store that I had been working at before the pregnancy, although I didn’t plan on continuing to work there. My parents had now made me start paying bills, and the pay I was getting wasn’t enough. Besides from that my little room that I now shared with a six month old was growing smaller and smaller by the week. Once filled with posters of NSYNC and cute clothes sprawled everywhere, was now crammed with a playpen, crib and little toys. I had to do something better for us.

So I started job searching. Now this was very difficult because I had very strict availability. Day-care was only open to 6pm and not open on the weekends. So I continued my search, but most business that an eighteen year old had qualifications for, would require that you worked nights and weekends, which I was not able to do. To my surprise one day I received a call from a local bank, offering me almost three dollars more than my current job was offering me. I was ecstatic.

So even though I started off part time and still wasn’t making the best money, I moved out immediately. My son and I moved out to a small one bedroom apartment. Where we will still had to share a room, but we were not confined to it. Then I started working at two different locations so that I was able to make 40 hours, sometimes both branches in the same day. Luckily I was also offered overtime almost on a weekly basis, which I was eager to accept. Still I was always low on money. I had no extra. All money went to was bills, food for the baby, gas and diapers. So I did everything I could do to move up within the company. I learned and learned and learned. Finally an Assistant Manager position opened up, so I applied. And because of my willingness to learn after only being with the bank for a year and being hired as a part time teller, I was now a full time salary paid manager.

This all happened not because I relied on others or let the opportunities fall into my lap. It’s because I worked hard and made these things happen. I know a lot of people my age who have kids and still work part time in the mall, basically they are not doing anything to better their life’s, or their child’s. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to live off of the state’s money, which at the time I could of. I made so little that I could have received welfare and it would have paid all of my bills and I could still work part time. But I want to have nice things and I want to have them because I have earned them with my hard work.

They say having a child changes your whole life. And for me it did, because I took the opportunity to let it help me grow as a person. Although it doesn’t mean everyone else will do the same. Everyone has choices in life; I just believe your level of success depends on what you decide to do with the opportunities given to you. A good life isn’t just handed to you.