Participant, Young Mothers Program, Chelsea
Kerry’s teenage years were not easy by any measure. She came to this country to live with her dad while her mom stayed in Colombia. At 16, Kerry got pregnant. “During my pregnancy my dad didn’t help me with anything. He made it very difficult for me to get any help.” As the pregnancy went on, she had to drop out of school. Soon after that, Kerry’s baby was born premature. She had no money to pay for food or bills and knew she had to go back to work.
For a long time Kerry worked in restaurants with long, inconsistent hours. It was stressful, tiring, and simply not a good job for a young mom. She got another job as a bartender, but hated it. “I wasn’t comfortable doing that. I felt disrespected. I didn’t want my daughter to see me that way.”
A coworker mentioned Roca, but Kerry felt it wasn’t for her. After some persistence from her youth worker, Ignacia, Kerry gave a HiSet class at Roca a chance. She joined the street cleaning crew, which was a totally different experience. “I’d much rather work on a Roca crew than have to work in a bar every day,” she says. “I felt better about myself and I knew I was setting a good example for my daughter.”
Then, halfway through her time at Roca, Kerry got pregnant again and stopped showing up. “Ignacia always tried to reach me,” Kerry now says. “Even when I didn’t have my phone she always found a way to get in touch. She kept knocking on my door. She kept pushing me to where I wanted to go.”
Nowadays, Kerry is working towards the goals she set for herself – making an amazing future for her children. She’s using the OSHA training that she did at Roca to clean houses. Her kids are in school and look up to her more than ever. “I’m sure that I’m on the right path to show my kids that they can do anything.”
“I’m sure that I’m on the right path to show my kids that they can do anything.”