Vanessa’s Story

My life before attending SC LAMP was very different compared to now, because before, I did not know the English language and I could not communicate with people when I would go to the grocery store or when I would go to the doctor. I am a single mom of two children and my life has definitely changed not only as a mother but as a woman as well. I use to not have patience with myself nor with my children. My way of disciplining them before was by yelling at them due to my impatience. I use to have very low self-esteem and I would always cry due to past experiences in my life. I am very independent and I have always raised my children on my own. I am the only one who wakes up every day and decides what my children and I are going to do and I tell myself, today is a new day and I am moving forward with my children. I do my best to remind my 8 year old daughter to always do her best in school because I want her to move on to high school and then college. I always try to motivate myself and my children by saying that anything is possible because I look at where I am now and I only want more.

It has been seven years since I separated from the fathers of my children. I never had the support from my family or them asking me if I needed anything or any advice. I left my home at seventeen years old with my sister and then I came to live with my friend and received support in her home but since then, I have pretty much been on my own. I have family in the states but we have no communication. My family is very different from me.

Since I came to SC LAMP, I have definitely learned throughout the years how to value myself more, as well as how to become a good leader and a mother. I have also grown so much in my self- esteem. SC LAMP teachers have taught me how to develop in my communication with others, communication with my children, and how to deal with problems that may come up in my life. This program challenged me to think about the decisions that I make for myself and for my kids on a daily basis. I never knew any of this vital information before and I am grateful to know this now.

The day my kids transition to another school, I have more confidence and security to go and investigate about my child’s education. I am not afraid to go and communicate with the teacher to know more about how my child is doing in school. In the past, I did not have the nerve to even ask, but today I want to ask so that I can be well informed about anything that has to do with my son and daughter. Nobody can hold me back now and it feels great to be able to defend your own rights and to have the certainty that I can move forward and succeed. I already made a step forward and there is no going back.

After SC LAMP, my goal is to continue to study and pursue my GED. I would like to work in medical clinics. I do not see myself working in a factory, I want to work in places where I can grow and gain professional experience. I know it is a step by step process but it is not impossible. Back then, I knew no English and I felt useless. I am glad I was able to walk through that dark tunnel and get to where I am now, so it is definitely possible. It feels great being able to hug my kids and give them that confidence, especially to my daughter who is older. My life changed from the moment I entered this program and I encourage other women who need help, to find out more about SC LAMP and the quality programs or workshops it offers. You learn important life skills here. Sometimes I still continue to compare myself to the person that I was before and I remind myself that it is not worth it because everything is different now and I am definitely not the same. One thinks that one will never change especially when you are stuck in the same routine and in your comfort zone but looking at myself now, I am happy I made a decision that changed my life. I thank all my teachers for all they taught me. Without this program and all the relationships I made here, I don’t know what would have become of me. I am very grateful and I will never forget all the great memories I made at SC LAMP.