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My parents divorced when I was 9 and I was raised by my single military daddy, this afforded me the opportunity to travel the world at an early age. I was a mother at the age of 16 and by the age of 22 I had three children. My daddy and  being a teenage mom set the foundation for who I am today.

Let’s rewind just a little, I was born in a small town on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Nassawadox. I have  8 siblings who I pride having a very close relationship with. I am not the eldest but I am that one sibling who acts like she is the oldest and the mother hen. At 21, I lost my biological mom but I was blessed to have an amazing stepmom, aunts and uncles who all poured into me. My childhood was one of structure, solid foundation and filled with family who ensured I was given the best opportunities.

What is that my foundation provided me? My foundation created a strong, courageous, confidant, caring, proud, never quitting woman!  I have gone through trials and tribulations that could have and should have broken me however, my dad instilled in me never giving up and always having a purpose. I didn't always follow what my dad told me to do or suggested for me to do hence the reason I was a mother at a very early age.

I was a single mom with three beautiful children and we were struggling, bouncing from meaningless jobs to getting assistance from the state, to leaning on my family and friends to make it. Two of my children went to live with their dad for a few years while I was battling financial hardship and homelessness. I truly thought this was going to break me, being a weekend mom was not what I ever thought I would be, my daddy took care of three kids as a single parent, why couldn't I. I had to push, I had to remember to not to quit, while two of my children were living with their dad for a few years I took this time to rebuild myself.

At the age of 26, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime; I was blessed by my sister to go to school full-time and she would help take care of my monthly financial responsibilities. While I was in school, she took care of the house, and my brother took care of Christmas and birthdays for my kids so I could focus on school. In 13 months, I went from meaningless employment to becoming a professional. I had become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Nursing had been something I had wanted to do for years but because of my circumstances I was unable to commit. Six years later, I went back to school and obtained my Registered Nurse license and four years after that I went back and obtained my Bachelors degree. Then two years after acquiring my bachelor’s degree I went into business with two friends, and now I am self-employed running a very successful company.

Self-employment is work, if anyone tells you different they are selling you a joke. Self-employment takes structure, discipline, pushing, never giving up, and I received that early in my foundation. I went from being a mother of three at 22 not knowing where our next meal would come from to now at the age of  44 blessing others with meals. My agency, Hope, Care & Love Home Healthcare Services, provides homecare services to our elderly and disabled community, the name of our business encompasses the years of struggling I went through, I always had HOPE that I would make it through, I always CARED for others even during my times of struggle, and LOVE is what I have always embodied with my family, my friends and those I encounter.

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