Often we feel so busy with parenting, work, school commitments and friends that we don’t make time to reflect on our lives and learning. So we thought about how 2013 has gone for us.
In 2013, I decided to get my feet wet in the world of policymaking and advocacy. For someone who has spent their entire career in public service, it was a bit intimidating to consider stepping out into another arena. In December, I applied for a scholarship to attend the Women's Policy Summit at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Ca. Long story short, I was invited to attend, and next week will take part in this major policy forum to help launch the legislative session with proposals to advance the health, wealth and power of women and girls in all of their diverse communities. I'm a bit nervous, but beyond excited!
In 2013, I re-discovering amazing things about myself. In the spring I participated in three different domestic violence events, in the summer I participated as a panelist for the Anniversary of Title IX, and in the fall I started my second semester in Grad School. All these things are wonderful, and they were better because I could share them with my awesome children.
2013 was a tremendous year of growth, self-empowerment, and advocacy for me. From sharing the message that teenage parents are powerful and capable on major media outlets to organizing a conference for pregnant and parenting teens in NYC to finding the beauty and courage in sharing and owning my reality and story, 2013 was nothing short of amazing.
This past year was awesome! I helped plan the 3rd annual conference for teen parents in Boston, advocated for comprehensive sex ed and the much-needed revision for the Expectant and Parenting Student Policy in Boston Public Schools, advocated for better dropout prevention policies in Massachusetts schools, led the #NoTeenShame campaign alongside my fearless young mommy friends, participated in anti-street harassment and domestic violence awareness campaigns, and sparked the #FeminismIsForTeenMomsToo chat. But my most exciting accomplishment of the year was doing a TEDx talk on being a teen parent and the culture of shaming young women.
My biggest accomplishment is 2013 was graduating from graduate school. I was so incredibly tired of juggling school, work and parenthood and was ready for one of the balls to drop. My favorite photo from that day was the one my sister snapped of my kids searching for my name in the commencement program. I worked hard to get my name in that program and to show my children that hard work pays off. Always.
My biggest accomplishments were getting A's and one B in my classes so far, while studying, having 3 jobs, and taking care of my son. Another accomplishment was doing the panel at Novembers conference and talking about being a young parent as well as being sexually assaulted.
I have graduated college as a medical assistant with a 3.9 GP and am now working for a Orthopedic Surgeon. I applied to Nursing school, and recently got two job offers within Orthopedics!
The year 2013 was a big one for me because it was one of the first times I have truly felt accomplished. In 2013, I was able to graduate with a Master's degree which then allowed me to secure ideal employment in a school setting in order to start my career as a therapist. However, it is more important for me to point out that my sense of accomplishment did not come from obtaining these achievements, it stemmed from the moments of knowing that my children are proud of these accomplishments, and proud to call me their mama!