By Sarah Jackson
Family Promise graduate
On Friday, May 17, 2013, I was blessed to graduate with my Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC). Additionally I was blessed to be chosen to speak on behalf of all students at the commencement ceremony. Furthermore, I was blessed to have my surrogate family – Brent Bohanan, Joann Czerwinski, and Linda Allen there to cheer me on.
During my commencement speech, I talked about my journey and how I became homeless in the midst of pursuing my degree. In March of 2011, I received a call from Family Promise regarding an opening for my family. At the time I was homeless, jobless due to inadequate childcare and the associated expenses, and my car was on its last leg. Not knowing what to expect, I stepped out on faith, met with the case manager, and within days, my four daughters and I were welcomed into a new family – Family Promise.
Within a few weeks, Family Promise had arranged childcare assistance, my car was repaired, and I was working two part-time jobs while attending school. My four girls and I were also able to move into a home provided through Family Promise’s transitional housing program. My life was back on track, as my family was now equipped with all of the necessities a single mom requires: lots of prayers, food, shelter, employment, transportation, childcare, and a fabulous mentor.
In Oh the Places You’ll Go, Dr. Seuss says,” You will move mountains! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way.” Many of us have encountered mountains along the way. I certainly have over the past few years. As I entered my last year of studies, though I was working two part-time jobs, I had no means of paying for my tuition. At that time I applied for and was fortunate to be GGC’s first recipient of the Eldridge McMillan Scholarship. I was inspired to work even harder and I made the Dean’s List for the first time.
My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” I did not understand why I received that initial call from Family Promise, but I trusted God. I am thankful everyday for you all. I may not have an earthly mother or father, but I always have a heavenly father and a surrogate family in all of you. You all have truly been a blessing to me and my girls. I look forward to giving back to the community that has done so much for my family. I know my journey is not over and the best is yet to come!