I grew up in a home with a single mother. My mom was raising me and my sisters and my brother all by herself. She was working 2 or 3 jobs at a time so she wasn’t home very often. Eventually I ended up hanging out and doing some things I probably shouldn’t have been doing, which resulted in me being pregnant at age 16. I had my first son when I was in eleventh grade. When my son was three months old, my mom and I were fighting, and I had to leave home. I ended up staying in a house with no water and electricity, living with my son’s father, but things didn’t work out. He literally told me he wasn’t ready to be a father. So I was alone with my son and ready to give up on life itself. We were homeless.

I was attending Harrisburg High School, and I ended up going to a meeting through their teen parenting program. At that meeting someone from Delta Housing shared about the program they ran with BHA at that time. They helped me get my own apartment on Hummel Street. With the help of my mentor and case worker, I was able to graduate from high school and was accepted to three colleges. I ended up going to Shippensburg University in 2001.

I met my now husband prior to leaving for college, and he helped to support my son and I, even though it wasn’t his child. He helped me get through some tough times. I got a job offer from Nationwide prior to graduation so I had a job waiting for me. I’ve been working there ever since.

At Nationwide I’m an underwriter, evaluating policies and working on profitability issues. I also attend Living Water Community Church in Harrisburg. At the beginning of this year I was asked to head up our housing ministry where we help families like BHA serves with housing. We help them get back on their feet. This is why I went to BHA’s presentation at Nationwide, to see if we could partner together.

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