A quote made famous by President John F. Kennedy encapsulates the contemporary life story of our Helping Hands mom, Michelle.
"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doings of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle."
Allow us to introduce you to a true miracle.
Michelle's life began as an overwhelming surprise, being one of two in an unexpected twin birth to a single mom and a father struggling with addiction. Her first 10 years of life were marred by abuse and chaos, when her mother decided to make a change by relocating from California to Arizona. Things did not improve for Michelle. Indeed, by the early age of 11 years old, as Michelle floundered in school with undiagnosed learning disabilities, she anesthetized her private struggles with alcohol and drugs. On the fast track to self-destruction, Michelle began dating a known gang member at 15, by 16 she was pregnant, and with her mother signing the necessary paperwork, became an emancipated minor so that she could marry the father of her child.
Then something went terribly wrong. David, Michelle's baby, was born three months premature. He was immediately identified as having head bleeds which required numerous surgeries. The scar tissue caused epilepsy. David required a ventilator to stay alive. The sobering reality of this little boy had a life-altering affect on Michelle. Her immediate mother's love for him sparked a determination to live a life of purpose and direction so that Michelle could provide for this child all that she had lacked.
Education became a life line. Michelle attended a special program to get caught up on her lost years of education. She was able to return to her high school and graduate, all the while caring for David as he endured more surgeries and constant hospitalization. After working up the courage to divorce her incarcerated husband, Michelle was inspired to attempt to obtain an Associate's degree. From there she applied for and received scholarships to ASU to complete her B.A. which then lead to her M.A. in Non-profit Leadership, and in December 2011, her second M.A. in Education/Special Education, all the while gaining inspiration from David's strength, courage and love.
Michelle's relationship with Helping Hands began during her B.A. program. Unlike any of the other scholarships she received for her tuition, Helping Hands brought a unique brand of help and support to her. "The people at Helping Hands understood the everyday needs of a single mom, things like car repair and dental care. It's more than a check. It's a relationship with people who support me, mentor me, provide real answers, solutions and encouragement."
Michelle describes her life today as amazing. David began his sophomore year of high school this fall. Michelle is enjoying her career as a special education teacher at a specialty school for the neediest kids. Her story would take an entire book to tell in detail, and that's just what she has set as her next goal. She has given herself a year to complete the manuscript of her life story, a message of hope, a miracle.
(Michelle, we are so proud of you. Thank you for being a part of our program).
Dear reader, your donation to Helping Hands for Single Moms will help us provide "real answers, solutions and encouragement" to fifty single mom college students.
To make a donation:
Click here: Donate
Mail your check to:
Helping Hands for Single Moms
P.O. Box 7737
Goodyear, AZ 85338