On, March 29, I successfully defended my dissertation to earn my Doctorate in Social Work. It was the culmination of three years of work – a constant cycle of late nights, working weekends, and overbooked schedules. I could not have done this without my tribe and village who supported me along the way. They believed in me even when I did not believe in myself, they pushed me when I had no push left, and they reminded me to rest because tomorrow was a new day and it would still be there. I am grateful for this journey and the lessons I have learned along the way but most of all I am grateful for my son’s words in the beginning when I did not think I could do all of this. When I first started thinking about applying for the DSW programming, I asked him, “what if I don’t get in??” He quietly said, “You will,” and with that, I pressed the send button, the application for the DSW program was sent, and my journey began.
To all of you wandering in the “what ifs,” know that you can, and you will make it. That’s really what our work is about every day at the Policy Center: to make certain the girls we serve know, in their deepest moments of hopelessness and despair, we are the tribe that sees them and is always ready with an affirming “You will.”