“Not a day goes by that my kids don’t have food on their plates and a roof over their heads.”
This is a statement not often uttered by many residents in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, LA, especially from a single parent. Yet, Kimberly does everything in her power to not only provide for her children (and other’s), but work on her own goals as well.
Four years ago, Kimberly was living in the Iberville Housing Project. This housing development saw tremendous changes over the years, in particular when the city was recovering from Hurricane Katrina. During that time, residents were required to rebuild their city after a terrific disaster and were also required to rebuild their futures.
For Kimberly, the best path to a successful future is through education.
Today, her kids participate in Urban Strategies’ after school tutoring program where they work on homework and do activities, and parents get an opportunity to spend time reading to their kids. Her oldest son has even become a tutor himself and is getting ready to graduate from high school early. She beams with pride when she speaks of their accomplishments and discusses her own future.
“My son is going to college to become an electrical engineer; I’m going back to school to get my GED, graduate and go to college. I hope all of my kids go to college.”
It wasn’t always easy and she didn’t always handle the stress of caring for four kids on her own so well. So she, again, turned to Urban Strategies for help. She participated in a customer service training program that helped her work on job skills, but also taught her how to interact with just about everyone.
“I was a very disrespectful person coming up. Now I know how to talk to people without attitude.”
Her kids are now following in her footsteps, growing up to appreciate what they have – and what their mother has worked so hard to give them.
“I didn’t want to show my kids that it was hard. When I felt like I couldn’t do it, I talked to Urban people and they gave me the strength to keep going. It means a lot to have Urban.”
Kimberly is hopeful about all of the positive changes happening in her neighborhood, thanks in part to the Choice Neighborhood Initiative.
“Once people come together, I believe we can keep the crime down and keep drugs away from the community and [make it] safe for kids.”