I’m 26 years old and I’m a single mother to two boys. Their dad and I were together for almost five years. During that time, I was a stay-at-home mother. My oldest had health issues and we had one car, so my ex worked. He was really controlling and eventually became abusive. So, I became depressed and when he left me in 2016 two days after I had my youngest son, I was almost 300 pounds. I lived with my grandmother for two months while I continuously looked for work. To help with the depression I walked a minimum six miles a day. Most days I walked eight or more miles. I’d load the kids up in the stroller and we’d just walk around the lake and dirt roads. At the end of everyday I’d put my babies to bed and take a walk by myself to just clear my mind. I eventually landed the job of my dream at the plasma center. I worked there for 2016 until March of 2019 when I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life. I was getting mistreated and bullied by a manager and co-workers. Other employees were too. We all resigned at the same time. They held a week back when I started so that next check, I was determined to move out my grandmothers. I worked 120 hours in 10 days so I could get my boys and I a home. And I did in September of 2016 we moved into a small trailer. Even though it wasn’t much I was so proud because I did it on my own. I moved up quick in the company. I’ve been surrounded by the medical field my whole life. It’s my passion. I love helping people. It’s who I am as a person. I’ve continuously had to struggle being a single mother. Their dad doesn’t help, and I recently started child support which I’m not receiving any. I’m so tired of having to struggle. I want to be successful in life, I know I will be something great, and most importantly my kids won’t have to live a life like this. They’ll at least have a mother that can help support them achieve their goals and always be by their side. My managers at the plasma center worked extremely hard with me to get me where I am. I was faced with many difficult battles with co-workers just because of my age and the fact that I achieved higher titles than they had. I’m driven to succeed, and nobody will get in that way. I had passion for what Grifols did and I loved being a phlebotomist. I was confident in my abilities and I made it known. A lot of my donors wouldn’t let anyone else stick them. I was proficient in easing the fears or anxiety they may have had for the donation process. I also went back to college in August of last year for nursing. I have not made it into the program yet, I’m finishing up my pre-courses. I’m also taking medical coding, billing and insurance classes plus healthcare leadership and business management classes. It’s very difficult to take all these classes together a long with nursing. But I know I can do it. At the beginning of this year my world has fell apart. January 6th, my birthday, I lost my Nana, who raised helped me. The bond we had was irreplaceable. She developed Alzheimer’s and of course I helped take care of her cause that’s what she did for me. It was very painful to watch her go through that. The last time I went seen her she didn’t know who I was and that killed a part of me. She always knew me; I was her sunshine. I was the last one that she forgot. I couldn’t bring myself to go back in there. I’d go up there and sit in the parking lot. The workers would see me and come out to comfort me telling me that it was okay. I found another job at the end of march at a restoration company here. I immediately started having issues with the manager. I lost my grandfather that I’ve been helping my grandmother take care of since 2013. He had a stroke and became disabled on his right side. He wasn’t my blood, but my Papa Joe passed away when I was three so he’s the only one I knew. I loved him so much. I made sure to do everything the way he asked me to. The day I lost him I texted her to let her know. She said she never received the message and that I needed to bring her my key and work shirts. I told her I was sorry and sent her the message I had sent and re-let her know what was wrong. She had no sympathy. I called a co-worker and she stated that she felt like she was just trying to get me out of there and that she’s been out to get me. I’ve applied for positions in the hospitals and doctors’ offices around my town. I’ve had many interviews for medical assistant positions in the hospital here and four are still open. I’m one of the leading candidates and it’s taking them a while to decide. I do not have the MA certificate but my experience and skills over qualify me for the position. I also have three more interviews set up for the next two weeks. A friend moved in with me to help me because this year has been rough. He was supposed to be my best friend. He up and left me out of nowhere with two months’ rent due and a third month rolling around. We split bills, he paid rent and I paid everything else since there was three of us. He worked for my landlord which is my neighbor. He has a fifteen-year-old. He’s my third son. He tells everyone I’m his mom and that I do more for him than his mom ever has in the year and a half I’ve lived here. I take him to all his JROTC, cross county, track, baseball practices and games. I’m there every late-night heartbreak, waking up not feeling good, I stay on top of his school stuff, I have all the calendars for everything. He shouldn’t have to miss out on being a teenager and all these great opportunities he has going for him. I started raising my sister at six because my parents choose streets, drugs, and other people over us. I can at least help fill that spot in his heart a little bit, so he doesn’t feel the pain I’ve felt. My landlord is an awesome man because he saw everything that happened and said he’d work with me. He had my back when even my family turned theirs. He works hard to help me. I’ve paid all but 400 but a new month rolled around so that put me at owing $1000. I still have other bills and my babies to take care of. With college and the fact that I’m trying so hard to succeed and everything is falling apart has made me so tired. My family doesn’t help and have turned their backs on me. My grandparents raised me, and I only have one left. I must take care of her, she can’t live by herself anymore, especially being she just lost her second husband. I must start planning and researching how to get a trailer big enough for her, the kids and me. The trailer she’s in is falling apart and not safe for her. The land will eventually be mine. She also helped raised me so now it’s my time to take care of her. I watched her go downhill taking care of him for six years. I’m in a lot of pain right now. I’m tired. I need help getting things caught up so I can slow down, re-group and get everything back together. I can’t believe everything has happened like this. But that’s a lot for one person to deal with by herself. I’m not perfect and mistakes get made sometimes. I always learn from them. Even when I want to give up, I know I can’t. My three kids are watching me and depend on me.