I was raised by a single mother in the 1970’s. I have had a job since I was 17 years old (non-stop). When I was 19 years old, I joined the United States Navy so I could afford a college education. During that time, I was married, had a child, was divorced, became a single mother, and served my country. Life was not easy. I was eligible for WIC (as a single mother and a junior enlisted Sailor). I did not take it. Instead, I sat goals – lofty goals. I made a plan about how I was going to reach the goals. I stuck to the plan – and even when hardships or setbacks occurred, I kept going back to the plan. I stayed up late at night while my children slept and finished my bachelor degree. This was not for a week or for a year. This was YEARS. Working during the day, learning from my superiors, and trying to be good at my job.
This was YEARS. Teaching my child to read, cleaning the house, making dinner, and putting her to bed with a story and lots of love. This was YEARS. Sometimes falling asleep in her bed from exhaustion, waking up at midnight, realizing I had homework to finish. Then, at 0500 my alarm would go off and it would all begin again. Eventually, I got to the place I am today. It was not easy, it was not automatic. I missed out on some fun my friends were having, I missed out on watching popular TV programs because I was studying, I missed out on sleep as I was dreaming of a better life for me and my children. All of this paid off and paid off well. Twenty years later, I now own a home, I am debt free except for my house, my children have college funds, and I have been very well educated.
I pay my taxes. I still dream of an even better life, and I love my country.
I am a member of the 53%