Image: I’m doing well

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“I was only sixteen when I got pregnant. I was so disappointed in myself. I thought I’d end up like one of those pregnant teens on Maury. I did finish high school – I will say that. But afterwards I had no good options. My family didn’t have money. My son’s father wasn’t around. It was on me to do something. So I joined the Navy. I was basically gone for the next six years. I had to leave my son with my parents. It was an extremely hard decision. But anything I did was going to look bad—if I had stayed behind, I would have just been a bum ass ‘project girl’ with a kid. I had to provide. And I was still a kid myself, so I needed experience. When I came home for good, my son was seven years old. He lives with me now. We’re working on it. I’d love for him to be a ‘mama’s boy,’ but in a lot of ways he’s still closer to my parents. He gives them random hugs and kisses. I have to ask for mine. So we’ve still got a ways to go. But I used the GI Bill to get a bachelor's degree. And I’ve got a job where I make real money. I’m proud of myself. I work in a place that I never could have imagined when I was sixteen. I have ‘work friends.’ I spend my day with people who are motivated to be better—not just in work, but as people. I’m doing well. And considering how I started— that’s an amazing thing.”

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