Summary: My mom is my hero! My parents divorced when I was 10 and my mom was left to raise her two young sons. We lived on welfare for 2 years while my mom went back to school to become a registered nurse. I witnessed first hand the sacrifices made to achieve a long-term goal. I saw the impact of a loving, supportive community around us. I learned the value of government programs designed to give a “Hand Up” to self sufficiency and not a “Hand Out” to permanent dependency. She is a living example of grit and determination and has inspired me my whole life! She continues to work to this day teaching nursing and mentoring others. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!
Our parents are inspiring!
Sometimes the inspiration for lifelong learning is not from some business leader, but from someone very close to you. For me, my mom is my inspiration!
When I was 10 years old, my parents divorced. My mother’s occupation at the time was that of a homemaker. She went back to school at Compton Community College in Compton, California to earn her Registered Nursing Associates Degree. My mom didn’t even have a driver’s license, so she needed to get that first before she could make the drive from our home in Lynwood, California to Compton.
Since the Nursing program was a 2-year degree of intensive study, she wasn’t able to work while she attended school, so we had to live on state assisted welfare. I remember being embarrassed by being on welfare and instead of receiving a free hot meal in the cafeteria at my school for the welfare kids, I asked my mom if I could just eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich each day. Of course, bringing my own lunch meant that I had more time on the playground during lunch time, as I would quickly gobble down my sandwich and play with my friends, rather than wait in a cafeteria line for food!
As an adult, now I realize the value of government programs like welfare, and rather than an embarrassment, they are a lifeline for those who have been hit with financial upheavals. If government programs are used as a short term stop gap for loss of income, they are very effective. In our case, welfare was a government program designed to give a “Hand Up” to self sufficiency and not a “Hand Out” to permanent dependency. Just like the current government programs to help with the loss of income due to COVID19, as long as Americans can return to self sufficiency they are great. But, if they breed dependency on government funding, like Universal Basic Income (UBI), we will just become slaves of the state and beholden to whatever government narrative is forced on us in order to pay our bills.
We needed a community around us.
For two years we lived very thriftily. We also received donations from church, family, and friends for food, clothing and other necessities of life. This enabled my mom to provide for us and to continue her education.
Watching my mom persevere and receive her education really inspired me. I was already a good student, but I became a great student by watching my mom.
When my mom received her Nursing degree, she started work at the emergency room at St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood, California.
After she got her job, she returned her last welfare check, saying that she no longer needed welfare. The Welfare Office said they didn’t know what to do with it as no one had returned a welfare check before!
Lifelong learning exemplified!
My mom, at the age of 77, continues to work to this day, teaching nursing 2 days per week.
- It is never too late to start learning a new profession
- Education will always provide you a way out of your current life circumstance
- It is important to pick a field that is hiring
- Make sure to have the support of a community where you can give and receive
- And, Never Give Up! Grit and Determination are greater than any shortfall in skills or training.
How about you? Do you have an inspirational story of someone who has persevered against all odds? Please share it in the comments section below.
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