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At the Role Model Dinner, Malayshea, an AFG Shelter resident, gave this speech celebrating her accomplishments and sharing her goals for the future.
Life before AFG had me shaken up. I had just experienced an electrical fire at my house that happened because of an ice storm. Because of this, I could no longer live there. I didn’t have anywhere else to go, so I had to call around to find a shelter to stay at.
Before I got to Alternatives For Girls, I struggled a lot to get myself together. I couldn’t stay focused on school or work. I had a good job but there would be days when I wouldn’t show up. I was 17 years old and I had just found out I was expecting a baby girl. It made me really unfocused on what I wanted to do in life, like save money, finish school, go to college and become a nurse. I was always moving from house to house and never felt comfortable.
I was so happy when I made the call to AFG and they had room for me. I just knew I was going to be safe and have a good experience while being there. Becoming involved with AFG was life changing, but a little hard and very different for me. I was learning to follow the new rules, going to group sessions every day, which was tiring but worth it, and having a curfew. But it was the best choice I made.
I learned so many new things in our groups. I learned how to make a resume, found new job opportunities, like a local nursing home and Kohl’s, and learned how to budget and save money. The parenting classes taught me how to stay calm and collected and how to have a positive attitude when it comes to taking care of my daughter.
AFG helped me with it all, especially transportation, which helped me get to work and doctor’s appointments. They also provided clothing for me and my baby. The things I most like about being at AFG are that they always give good advice and never judge you. They always keep a positive attitude when it comes to any situation. Whatever you need, they try their best to give it to you.
Being at AFG, I accomplished a lot of things, most of all becoming a mother. I found a school where I could finish my high school credits and be on the path to graduation. I’m also successfully working two jobs so that I can save money and buy things for my baby and me. I recently got my drivers permit, which is the first step in getting a driver’s license and my own car. Now, I’m staying more focused on school. Recently, I’ve also become close with God, which has brought me faith.
With the support AFG gave me I will now be moving into my own apartment and finishing high school in June. I will continue to work hard on my goals each day, such as finding a college to go to and buying a car. The best lesson I’ve learned at AFG is to never give up, to keep going until you succeed, and that anything is possible. All you have to do is put your mind to it and have a little support behind you.
Thank you AFG for all of your support.