This is a story of a young man whom I've been blessed with to be his mother. It has been 14 years that I've been only parent of 2 amazing sons. Phoenix has always been driven, but his struggles have been many.
"Pre", (as his friends called him) like so many kids of divorced parents, didn't get the "stuff" that many of his peers had. The latest clothes, vacations, or even a cheap car (because I couldn't afford to pay for classes so he could get his license at 16). He told me one time that he always lived in fear of not having any food, our electricity being shut off, the car being repossessed, or being evicted again because we couldn't pay rent. That's more than a teenager should have to worry about.
At 18 he went to live with a family and continue his education at a community college. That was one of the best decisions he had ever made. In staying with them he had a very stable environment and was able to focus on his studies. He finally had a father figure, who mentored him on finances and how to be a man. He also taught him a very valuable lesson. Pay it forward! His "other mom" taught him respect and how to participate as a family member with their daughters, his two new sisters.
After two years at a community college and a gap in our communication he emerged a focused, happy, and confident young man who would at times have three or four jobs during the summer where his transportation was usually a bicycle. He wanted more. So he worked very hard. He also spent much of his free time doing what he had been taught, and "paying it forward". He helped other kids who were struggling in their studies by tutoring them, just as his mentor taught him. It's something of great value to him.
He is now entering his senior year at UCLA, and between grants and scholarships he has been able to maintain a job and pay for his education. After graduating from Palomar community college as the VIce President of the student body he began his journey pursuing Magna Cum Laude stature in Economics. He is now ahead of schedule to graduate from UCLA and was granted the opportunity to study abroad in London England.
This is why I am asking for your help. If you have ever been in the position where someone has helped you and you want to pay it forward, please do it here. It doesn't matter how much, because every single dollar adds up. In advance I would like to thank you just for taking the time to read this.
Kindest regards ~ Mary