"My mom was a single mom of three. I saw the struggles that she went through. She worked 80 hours a week, but we still always went without. I never understood that. Eventually, I started working on my own, just like my mom, working all these minimum wage retail jobs that were just keeping me stuck in place.
Then I became a mom at 19 and again at 23. There's this mother instinct that says, do more... be more. But there’s this other instinct we all have, a drive that says I’m not going to be like my parents. My mom was in an abusive relationship with my father. And when I got older I found myself dealing with similar struggles, but that drive to break free from that cycle kept me going.
I feel like I’m still repeating some of those things, like small mistakes you make just being a young mother. But I’m a different animal. I’m strong like my mother. I’m kind like my mother. But I’ve chosen a path of self-education. Even though I'm in a tough situation and I don’t live in the nicest neighborhood, I can go to school. I can keep that educational momentum going. She never did any of that. She was always chasing guys. I don’t want that. I don’t want to be someone’s toy, someone’s plaything. People often mistake kindness for weakness. I might look cute and pretty, but I’m a pit bull underneath. I’ll choke you with the same hand I fed you with if I have to. As kind as I am, I won’t tolerate injustice. I hate it.
That’s partly why I started Butterfly Wings. It’s a non-profit that provides necessities other than food—diapers, toilet paper, toiletries, feminine products, etc—to people in need. I have family I can call, but a lot of people don’t. A lot of teenage moms get kicked out of their house and have nothing. One in particular I’m thinking of… she's working her butt off. She’s got a 1 year old. Every day she gets on the bus to take her baby to Head Start so he can have his education. I’m doing this for her. I’m doing this for him. Helping fill a need, give some motivation, and provide some economic mobility. That’s what Butterfly Wings is all about."