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Posted on September 28, 2011 by Neoshua
About the blogger: Neoshua is a resident of AFG’s Shelter. She is currently applying to become a part of AFG’s Transition to Independent Living Program.
This essay was written by a young woman in AFG’s Shelter as part of her application to join our Transition to Independent Living (TIL) Program. If residents of our Shelter need to stay at AFG for longer than two weeks, they must apply to be a part of this program. As part of the TIL program, they learn life skills such as budgeting, healthcare, interviewing skills, and goal setting.
An independent woman understands and works with the world she has been placed in, she glides through with a sense of elegance that exudes from every movement she makes. She is complete and content with her talents; she shares those gifts to help other women blossom who do not realize their capability, beauty, flair, and intelligence. She guides her pupils through her past without shame. She accepts challenges knowing, that they only better her and attempts to get her pupils to appreciate their experiences and not to fall prey of gossip and judgment. What others fail to realize is that independence does not mean being alone, it means being an individual and understanding you are part of the community. She does not run away from her destiny, which is to pass on her grace, to enlighten and show that one should always be of love, not of the world.
I can envision this woman, I see her when I sleep, I see her when I’m eating, and I even consult with her, but I do not follow in her footsteps. See, I care about what others think and I have allowed people to stop me, to distract me, to discourage me, and rearrange me. I mean I would love to be that woman of independence, but I am afraid, I am sadly still of the world, afraid to be a trailblazer, a leader, an individual, because it is so much easier to follow the crowd.
I cannot visualize me becoming her, and that is where Alternative for Girls comes in. Here I see the worst and the best that can happen if I am me. I hear other testimonies, I watch girls facing the same challenges as I, and it helps to know that I am not the only one suffering. It’s good to know that there is still hope even when you are homeless, and that you can rise from it, and that people have risen. I have no reason to feel inferior or pretend my life is perfect, that there are not parts of my world that are chaotic. So instead of attempting to cover up the imperfection I get to talk about the broken factors in my life, I get to speak on the emotions, to take ownership to those emotions, and I get to be freed from them.
My ultimate goal is to own recreation centers all across the country in low-income areas. I want children who have suffered as I did to have an escape from the entrapment of their daily lives. The children will understand that their obstacles do not mean that they cannot be successful. Knowledge is the key to prosperity and happiness, so if I can broaden a child’s view on the world, embrace their creativity, show them love, and structure, my job will be done. Right now though I would like to get my Master’s in English at Wayne State University and then get a JD in Corporate Law.