Reaching Full Potential

Reaching Full Potential

Young Woman Reaches Her Full Potential at Mercy Home

Young african american girl smiling happy leaning on the wall at city.

As a rising senior in high school, Madison was the middle child of six siblings who lived tightly packed into her parent’s three-bedroom home. On top of having little privacy and limited resources, her parents’ financial insecurity caused tremendous social anxiety for Madison as she navigated young adulthood. 

“I never even asked my mom or dad for money to do things like hang out with friends or go on field trips. I always feared that people were judging me, so I made a lot of excuses most weekends and for field trips,” she said. 

So, Madison took it upon herself to find a job to compensate. 

“Sometimes I wouldn’t get back until midnight or 2 a.m. and barely had time for my homework,” she remembered. 

Madison’s life, however, was severely affected and thrown into disarray by the sudden passing of her father. 
 
 “He was everything to me,” Madison said. “But I didn’t have time to process it, you know, because I had to be strong for my younger siblings.”

 Without her father, Madison wasn’t able to work and whatever financial resources she had to be a normal teenager were dashed, leaving Madison and her siblings in a survival mode that greatly affected her mental health. 

“I was so depressed,” Madison said. 

Eventually, when Madison’s counselor was alerted that she frequently fell asleep during class, she was able to open up and  they discussed the opportunity to stay at Mercy Home.

“At first I wasn’t sure, you know, because I didn’t want to abandon my siblings or my mom,” Madison said. “But my counselor told me over and over again that I had to get myself right and take care of myself before I could take care of anyone else.” 

At Mercy Home, Madison was welcomed into a community of other girls who had similar struggles. Together, they even formed an 8 p.m. study group in a common space on our girls campus.

The following spring, thanks to a generous donor, Madison recalls picking out a beautiful violet gown for her senior prom, something she never thought would be possible for her. 

“I felt so beautiful and so loved that day,” Madison said. 

“I’m happy that Mercy Home helped me to believe in myself…just want to be the best role model for my siblings that I can be.” 

“At Mercy Home people really invested in me and my future. I just sort of figured I’d keep taking care of my siblings. But my tutors never gave up on me. I started to enjoy my math classes. It used to never make sense, but I think I just didn’t have the time to study before. And now it’s my favorite subject!”

This summer, Madison is registered to begin coursework towards her associate’s degree with a major in applied mathematics.

“I’m happy that Mercy Home helped me to believe in myself. I learned that it’s not my role to be a parent yet. I just want to be the best role model for my siblings that I can be.” 

Please note: Because we care deeply about protecting our children’s privacy, the names and certain identifying details in this story have been changed

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