It can be easy to focus on the negatives in life. Things do not always go our way, and we are faced with the choice to let those negative things define us or move past them and make our life better than we thought possible. Jesse, an Independent Living youth, is proof of the latter. She found herself sent to a group home after getting in trouble for some misdemeanor charges. During this time her father died, her mother had already passed away. When her father died she was placed into foster care and eventually aged out.
Lexi, her Independent Living Coordinator said this about Jesse, “Jesse is proof that what I do every single day matters. She has shown such resilience in hard times and has proved she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to.”
Jesse was enrolled in college and planned to pursue a degree in Nursing when she found herself in an unhealthy, abusive relationship and pregnant. She shifted gears and ended the unhealthy relationship. While eight months pregnant, she began working to get her EMT License and eventually her paramedic certification. She was inspired by her dad who was a paramedic during the Vietnam War. Jesse is currently completing her final semester at College of Central Florida, and it is her final year in the Independent Living P.E.S.S. program. At the end of Fall 2016, Jesse will have obtained an Associate of Science degree in EMS. She has already received her letter of completion for her Paramedic Certification and is waiting to take the state test.
Along with being enrolled full-time and maintaining good academic standing in her program, Jesse works at the group home where she aged out. Not to mention, she does all of this while raising her son. Her job at the group home is that of a counselor. She spends time with the girls living there now. Knowing how important positive relationship are, Jesse is working to build relationships with each of teen girl. They relate to each other, because she truly knows where they are now and some of the things they have faced in their lives.
Jesse says, “It means a lot to be able and come back to help girls. I have a sense of understanding for their situations. My life has given me the patience needed to help them.”
The future is bright for Jesse and her son. Every day she shows us that there is nothing you cannot accomplish as long as you put your mind to it. Lexi says it best, “Jesse is the truest definition of what courage, determination, kind-heartedness, dedication, and optimism look like. She means so much to all of us here at Kids Central, and we are so proud of all the accomplishments she has achieved.”