Success is primed for s-u-c-c-e-s-s.
“I’m hoping to study nursing,” Success said. “I want to be a labor and delivery nurse. I like obstetrician work and babies and ‘stuff like that.’”
The Philadelphia-born 18-year-old describes living at the children’s home for the past five years as “life changing.”
“When I first came here, there was a phone policy, a curfew and a lot of other rules,” she said. “I wasn’t used to that environment. I come from the city, so, culturally, Elizabethtown was a big change. Once I got older and moved into the older girls’ cottage, there was more freedom, and we could do more things for ourselves.”
Moving from the city to a suburban middle and high school was also a big adjustment for Success. “I came from a school that was really diverse, and that was not the case in Elizabethtown. I was really shy. But academically, I have grown a lot. I have friends now.”
Success said she “found herself” during her years at the children’s home. She met people to connect with and whom she wanted to surround herself with. “I’ve learned to mature because of the rules we have here and the things we have to do, like chores, to get certain privileges. I’ve grown in a very positive and powerful way. It has made me into a good woman.”
Success was born in Liberia, Africa, and immigrated with her mother to the United States at age 3.
“When we first came to America, we were living with our families and moving around until we found our own place,” she said. “It’s the same ole ‘single mom’ story, struggling with two jobs. I had to walk home from school by myself or with my cousin. Or my mom would drop me off at my aunt’s house, and I’d sleep over there.”
When Success was age 12 or 13, her mother learned about the children’s home and Success got accepted into the program. The rest was history.
“Seeing my mom work so hard for so many years really shook me up, so I do everything for her, like getting good grades, because I’ve been given a great opportunity here at the children’s home,” she said.
She credits her house parents – Ms. Mac, Ms. Ashley, Ms. Teri, Ms. Julie and Ms. Hope – for believing in her and having a positive influence on her life. She also enjoys the other girls she lives with, who have accepted her with open arms.
“I’ve had my challenges along the way in my life, from racism to bullying, but in the end, I would tell younger kids to never give up,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s you and only you. You have yourself and the people you surround yourself with. If they are not in your inner circle, they don’t matter. Keep doing what you want to be happy.”
For Success, happiness means playing lacrosse, reading, laughing, spending time outside and telling jokes. She’s also really into fashion and likes to dress up. She’s looking forward to what the next chapter of her life will bring.
“Going to college will be a big adjustment. I’m most looking forward to doing what I want to do for my future, as well as college life, friends, dorms and the experience. I can’t wait.”