My mother dropped out of college when she found out she was pregnant because she feared that she could not balance raising children and going to school all on her own. We bounced back and forth between run down apartments with loud neighbors, terrible landlords, and just overall bad neighborhoods. My mom was working at the time but not making enough money to give us the life she dreamed for us. When my father lived with us, he was unemployed most of the time, sometimes on probation, many times using drugs, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or all of the above. My mother and father argued about his lifestyle and he would always say that he would change, to no avail. Eventually they separated and divorced. Since then my mom has created a better life for me and my brother by working very hard. She enrolled in a program called Mom’s House of Lancaster, which helped her by providing free childcare while she worked and studied for her Bachelor of Science degree at Millersville University. She graduated in 2010 and got a job at Eastern Alliance Insurance Group, where she has now worked her way up to the title of Product Manager. She loves her job and is now Chair of the Board of Directors for Mom’s House as well.
After my parents’ divorce, my dad was selling drugs and got arrested. He has been in and out of jail; I believe he is currently unemployed and living with his sister. He does make contact with my brother and me by phone every now and then with promises to get a job and a house so that he can have us over, but I do not know if that will ever actually happen. Even though this has been tough to go through, it made me appreciate education more because I see how my father ended up after dropping out of school in 10th grade and, in comparison, what my mother was able to accomplish with her degree and how well we are doing now compared to previously. Her determination to succeed is what drives me every day.
Aneisha with her mother and brother, 2019
Aneisha with her mother and brother, 2004