Monday, March 09, 2015
Recently, Leslie White, a Medical Assistant in the HIV Primary Care Department at KC CARE since October 2014, received a call from her old high school counselor inviting her to speak to a group of girls considering dropping out of high school because they became pregnant. Leslie herself has been in their shoes – right after she graduated she became pregnant and a single mother, and yet she continued to go to school and work full time. She battled depression and heartache, struggled with dead end jobs, and became an adult all while raising her newborn child. She sees this invitation as the opportunity to provide the encouragement and inspiration she wishes she had received while going through those difficulties. It’s a chance to tell these young women that it will all be ok, and that it is possible to be successful with a child, even if the road might be more difficult than others.
Leslie says it is still difficult at times, but she has grown wiser with experience and now stands freely on her own two feet. She looks forward to sharing the many resources she has discovered for young single mothers that helped her along her way such as clinics, excellent free child care facilities, and government assistance programs.
Her goal when she speaks to these young women is to convey the message that dropping out of school would not only hurt them, but also the child they will soon provide for, and also, hopefully, to motivate them by her own example, proving that it is possible, it is not the end of the world. While Leslie is certainly not finished with her own journey, she looks forward to fulfilling her dreams while being a mother to “the world’s most brilliant four year-old.”