Black Women : Breaking The Cycle

Discussion in 'Black Women - Mothers - Sisters - Daughters' started by cherryblossom, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    http://breaking-the-cycle.com/

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    Johnetta McSwain
    My Story
    In order to accurately understand where I am coming from and where I am going I would like to share my personal and professional journey with you. My sister and I were born and raised in Birmingham Alabama to a single mother who physically and mentally abused us throughout most of our childhood.
    The Beginning -

    As an African American female growing up in a poverty stricken, disease infested community where racial tension, injustice and inequality were still very much an actuality; I witnessed first hand childhood domestic abuse and violence from within my own family and in within my neighborhood. I became a victim of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse from the tender age of five until as long as I can remember at the hands of my three uncles and other strange men my mother dated throughout my adolescent years.

    The Cycle -

    The conditions were deplorable while living with my mother in mostly Section 8 housing. I slept on a tiny worn out couch in the living room where the walls had holes so big you could vividly see and hear small mice running in and out of the holes, occasionally falling on me, as I slept. In addition to living in these very poor conditions, we moved a great deal, which left little room for a stable home life and an environment conducive to academic study.

    In the 11th grade I dropped out of high school continuing my family cycle. I began working minimum wage jobs at local restaurants and warehouses. The birth of my son out of wedlock at the age of 19, forced me to become a welfare recipient, while this was the norm in my family and community, how ever it made me feel diminished as a person.

    My dependence on the first of the month for a welfare check and food stamps led to the realization that I needed to establish a better way of taking care of my child and myself both emotionally and financially. In order to do so I enrolled into a state funded General Education Diploma (GED) program. The means tested program provided me with childcare and a monthly stipend in order for me to have reliable transportation on the city bus. I attended every class regularly and gained the skills needed to successfully pass all parts of the examination. It was a very proud moment for me personally to speak at the commencement ceremony, despite my family’s absence.

    At age 25, I enrolled in a community college with a concentration in office administration. I worked a part time job until I became pregnant with my second child, which led to dropping out of school, thus, repeating the cycle. A month after the birth of my son I entered into yet another state funded program, The Computer Institute. The program curriculum included job training skills such as typing, resume writing, interviewing, and basic word processing. The program was a turning point in my life. Immediately after graduation I started working for various temporary agencies as an administrative assistant making above minimum wages.
    The Decision -

    I was in a better situation, yet it still wasn’t sufficient for my family’s survival and my personal satisfaction. At 32, I realized I still was a product of my environment and living in a community contaminated with every socio-economic disparity there was from being plagued with drugs, gang violence, murder, racism, disease, and self destruction. For these reasons I re-located to Atlanta with the determination to break my generational curse and become the first in my family to receive a four year degree as well as become a role model for my two sons. I rented a truck, packed my furniture and drove to Atlanta twice in the same night.

    I applied and was accepted to Kennesaw State University in January, 2003. I attended classes fulltime including summers. I graduated May 11, 2006 in just three years with a Bachelor of Science in Communications, the first in my family to ever receive a college degree. I was accepted to Clark Atlanta University’s Whitney M. Young, Jr. School of Social Work (WMJSSW) Master of Social Work (MSW) program in the fall of 2006. I graduated with a 3.95 GPA with honors May 2009 with a Masters of Social Work.

    I am now the CEO and Founder of Breaking the Cycle, Beating the Odds, an organization that empowers women to break those negative self-destructive cycles that cripples them from reaching thier fullest potential in life.
     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    "Becoming self aware and admitting there are cycles in our life

    Family Generational Cycle
    Intimate Relationship cycle
    Friendship cycle
    Environmental cycle
    Victim blaming cycle
    Mental cycle
    Abuse (sexual, mental, physical, self)
    Education
    Drugs


    2. Aware of your environment
    3. You do not have to be the victim
    4. You do not have to be POOR
    5. You don’t have to be what people say you are going to be
    6. You can still rise above these obstacles and become successful
    7. We are women of strength
    8. Aware of your worth
    9. Aware of your fear of failing or success
    10. Aware of negative influences in your life
    11. Aware of change
    12. Aware of your inner strength..."

    http://breaking-the-cycle.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=38&Itemid=63
     
  3. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    all so true thankz i think the change and upliftment is on the rise with awareness
     
  4. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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  5. cisslybee2012

    cisslybee2012 Banned MEMBER

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  6. snugli360

    snugli360 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    SNUGLI360

    TRULY INSPIRING,THIS POST IS GREAT IT'S MOTIVATING TO SEE YOUR NOT THE ONLY ONE STRUGGLING AND MAKING MISTAKES RISING ABOVE THE VICIOUS .IT INSPIRES ME TO KNOW ALL SHE ENDURED SHE CAME OUT ON TOP THANKS FOR THIS GREAT TESTIMONY FROM THIS STRONG BLACK WOMAN.
     
  7. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Thank you, Sisters Cisslybee and Snugli!

    I am so glad some others appreciate this woman's inspiring story of trials and triumph!
     
  8. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    ....For me, this woman, in some ways, is a real-life "Precious."

    She overcame many obstacles to get where she is today. :toast:
     
  9. blkbutterfly41

    blkbutterfly41 Banned MEMBER

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  10. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    ^^^LOL! Yes, Sister, I am passionate!


    But, Sister, I post stuff like this, not only to give some encouragement/uplifting but also, maybe by "bumping" this back up, maybe some Black woman out there reading it can see that she is not alone and that there is some HELP out there for her.

    I'm not asking for any "kudos" for posting it....I just hope it helps somebody who sees it.
     
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