Being an Activist!

Being an activist for young parents is not something you can do from a text book. You have to be able to connect or relate to other young parents. Also to understand the foot steps we take on a daily basis and the obstacles we endure. It’s hard for young parents to take advice and encouragement from someone who cannot connect or understand. Criticism or judgement does nothing but push us away.

I found that sharing my own story can motivate other young parents, who may be going through the same or similar struggles that I am. I still endure the daily trials but I am also progressing in my parenting journey to provide a stable life for my son. My story is not one of success. This means that I can be an inspiration and give advice as to what I am CURRENTLY doing to make better choices to achieve my personal goals.

When I hear stories from others who have been through or are going through the same tribulations I’m currently facing, it makes me feel as if I’m not alone in my battle. This pushes me to continue making positive and beneficial moves for my family.

Racial Justice =/= Being Color Blind

Racial justice has never been more clear to me. Making efforts to make others around me aware of racial justice issues is the tough part. Some people like to avoid the truth of this issue. The fact is that it is a very real issue in our society today. I admit, it is a sensitive subject. This does not count as an excuse to ignore it, however.

Frustration is built up in my generation, for those who don’t understand why our society has been developed the way it is. I was raised color blind. My blood is mixed and it frustrates me when I am categorized as just one race. In today’s society, there are so many biracial families. What does it mean for the children of those families?? How will issues with racial justice today effect them in the future?? That’s what I ask myself when I face obstacles in my everyday life.

Racial just, for me, means not generally categorizing people and not judging them based of stereotypes of a race that society lists them under. People are still people regardless of the stock they’re made from.

Every Parent is Different

Being a young parent has really empowered me. All of the statistics and stereotypes can really make a person inferior. We don’t finish high school or we just live off of government assistance. Going through everyday routines of having people stare at you as if you don’t have a right to be a parent. An older lady looks at me and says “I know that’s not your baby”.

Over the last six months I’ve reached some goals that at one point were impossible to me. I now have a steady job and still making money doing things I love to do. I now have the means to move out on my own and provide a home for my son. I feel as if I can be a role model to others and set an example for those who may feel as if things may never get better. I felt that I would never be able to crawl out of the barrel that I sat down in… without realizing that I may not have a way out. The support from my fellow ambassadors and other young parent advocates helped to push me to get up and change things for the better. With that being said, I’ve realized that every parent is different. The fact is that being young parents is our “normal”.

Being a woman of color on top of being a young parent makes life even tougher. I was born with a preconceived thought of what I would become. My mother was a teen parent and I’m a young parent. That’s why I’ve made it goal in life to educate young parents around the world. And we must stick together and fight this war and set an example for those who will inevitably come after us.

All Hail Youth

The young carries the future. I believe that we as young people should have leaders, that share the same age bracket, to stand up for our human rights. As young people we are not always taken seriously. I find it to be a responsibility to support other young people like myself. Giving them a sense of pride and empowerment. It is important to me that the youth in my community have a voice when it comes to parenting, politics, healthcare, etc.

As a young parent who juggles work, household , and child things get tough and when you feel like there are no stipulations for your demographic, it’s even harder. I feel as if I make the same, if not more, decisions than the average thirty year old. It should be a responsibility to the world to encourage the young people around you to make positive choices. Whether they are socially , educationally, or financially. These things are significant in life on this big earth and so many people fall in between the cracks.

I am proud to be an example and leader for other young women. I’m not perfect, but I am real. I will forever be an advocate for the young people around me.

Influencing young people positively is not always the easiest thing to accomplish. There are some different ways that make it easy to keep young people focused on the right things. I grew up taking dance classes for the last fifteen years and I know for a fact that if I did not have dancing, I would have fallen into the wrong crowd. To this very day, I give back by teaching dance classes at the studio where I began. I continue to this because I know I may very well change some young person’s life. I believe that extracurricular activities play an important role in a child’s life. These hobbies will most likely become passions and then goals.  Over the years I have developed a sense of responsibility and discipline by being engaged in something that I love to do. Every time I set foot into a class, I know that the young girls are looking at me as a role model. This is the same way I looked at my instructors as a kid. When people tell me that I have made an impact on their child, I am so humbled and I know that I have done something great for my students.

My vision is to one day be a midwife and to support young parents, just like someone did for me. I believe in passing the torch. Having support plays a huge part when it comes to young parents. As a young parent, you already feel scared and sometimes sad and disappointed in yourself. Once I gained the support of family, friends, and especially fellow co workers , I knew that I was not alone in the world. I am honored to have people to exchange experiences and advice with. The one thing that I think is important in young parenting is being knowledgeable and not feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing. Support groups are significant with young parenting success. These groups make a great impact on young parents who may be having trouble dealing with  the everyday life of being a parent.

All of these things keep me wanting to wrap my arms around other young people and just show some love. They say “it takes a village to raise a child” yet so many people give up on the young people in their lives. I can honestly say that I will never walk away from this cause and it has truly become a passion and responsibility that I carry.

Breaking Up? I mean down.

Ever wonder why break ups aren’t called break downs? Let’s be real! Nine times out of ten you’re sitting in your bed with a gallon of ice cream, a box of tissues, and the Lifetime channel on.

Now some break ups are fairly simple. Assuming that you probably never really loved him/her in the first place. And that you’d rather be throwing back shots with some random guy at UNOs. On the other hand, some break ups will be mutual. That’s when you both agree to breaking up and you’ll most likely end up being friends…WITH BENEFITS!

My advice is that if you want to break up with your significant other, don’t wait six months to do it! Just get it done and be honest!

When there are children involved in a break up, it’s important to always be careful about what you say in front of your child. You never want to give your child a bad impression on the other parent or yourself. If you can, evenly split responsibility and spend time as a family so your child doesn’t feel the separation.

Are you thinking of breaking up and don’t know how? Check out this flyer on choosing the best way to communicate -> U R Breaking Up?

I Cannot Stand Being the “Example”

Laticia

Young, beautiful, and well spoken. That’s what a normal person would say when asked about themselves. So along with those include stubborn, independent, and a great liar. LOL! I’ve accomplished, but not yet completed, all of my goals. I’m very talented and dream about being all I can be both artistically and academically.

I can shop for hours at a time and not even realize it. I have a confession: I like math. That’s right! I’m a geek! I can be a brat at times. I hate asking for help and I cannot stand being the “example”. Think about it. If I’m the “example”, then I can’t F*** things up sometimes. What fun in that??!! So if you wanted to know a little more about before you began to value my opinion on other topics in future blogs, there it is!

BANG!

Laticia is a participant of the Young Parent Ambassador Program at the Center for Community Health and Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.