I want to share my story about what Hope in Northern Virginia has done in my life, not only to thank all of you, but so that other young women like myself might be inspired. I was only eighteen years old when I found out that I was unexpectedly pregnant. I was terrified. I was fresh out of high school with no job, no money, and no support. My dad is not around and when my mom and sister found out about the pregnancy, they were so disappointed that they told me I had no choice but to leave home. When they kicked me out of the house I thought I had no choice but to abortion. What else could I do? I had no one supporting me, no guidance, and I just felt lost.

I had heard about Hope through a family member. I was skeptical about going there at first because I was afraid that people would judge me, my situation, and how I was felling. To be judged when I already felt so distraught was the last thing I needed. After thinking about it and continuing to struggle emotionally, I felt that I really needed to talk to someone. I finally decided to go to Hope and when I went T met some amazing women. They took me out to dinner and listened to everything I was feeling, all in love and without any judgement. Hope gave me the cane and kindness regarding my pregnancy that no one else would.

Hope helped me during and after my pregnancy not only with supplies for my baby, but also with guidance and love. They do not view me as a client, but as a friend. It’s been years since I first went to Hope but I still meet with my initial counselor. She came to my baby shower, to the hospital when my son was born, she helped me apply for jobs and for grants at school. We have gone to church and look forward to regular moms’ nights out together. I know that I am not in my journey alone.

I want to be a different kind of mom to my son. He is only three now, but I see how much it means to him when I tell him that I love him.

Hope has given me hope for my future. I have come a long way form being a homeless and young teenage mom. I am going to college now and I have a great apartment. I am working at a job that is bringing me closer to the career that I want to pursue.