I am Like a Train: I Overcome

TrueRose Incubator®, Inc. Starves out fear and incubates purpose-led leadership in Black and Latinx girls in Middle-School and High-School. We aim to rectify issues that are attributed to racial and gender bias in society and adverse childhood trauma by providing access to mental health services, self-enrichment courses, and mentorship to high school and middle school Black and Latinx girls. As a healing-centered organization, we fully intend to create a world where there is a surplus of mentally and emotionally sound leaders and encourage a future pool of diverse and capable leadership. However, to create the world that we desire we must begin conversations around trauma in our communities and realize the power of our voice and HerStory.

This blog will highlight the experiences of our very own Kyana Shearn throughout a very challenging season of her life. Through her experiences we hope that someone sees themselves and finds courage to push forward and overcome. This is HerStory...

My name is Kyana Shearn, I was only 16 years old when my parents kicked me out of the house after I found out that I was pregnant. I know that I had made some decisions that weren’t called for, I knew better but still, I decided to make them. As a 16 year old, I was more than afraid to step out into the real world, especially so soon and so suddenly. I was a child having to switch to a completely different mindset not only for myself but also because it was no longer just about me, It was time for me to make a life for the baby inside me!

Before leaving my parents house, for months I was being mentally, emotionally, and physically torn down. People that were supposed to be my family hurt me in every way imaginable. I felt unloved, I felt worthless, I felt helpless, I was trapped, manipulated, and abandoned. In fact, even though it was terrifying, the day I was told to leave that house and never come back, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. As I walked away I remember feeling hope but also thinking of what to do next. I was a sophomore in high school, I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have a car. However, I found my way to my best friend's house. Stayed there for about 5 days, until my aunt who lives about 30 minutes away took me in.

I moved around from place to place never being able to call them "home". I woke up every morning not even knowing if I was safe, secure, or which meal was going to be my last. I sat in anger, and discouragement, and vowed to hold a grudge against my family for the trauma and the rejection they filled me with. I had no clothes, shoes, or communication device to call someone in the event of an emergency. But one thing for sure, I knew I had God, I had faith and I had hope that things would get better. Luckily, after finding out that I was pregnant, I told my boyfriend (my child’s father) and we set up doctor's appointments, got my prenatal vitamins, and at 9 weeks we heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time. I was so excited, everything that has ever transpired went out the window because I realized that I needed to make a life for the child I carried. I immediately started applying for jobs and eventually landed one at McDonald’s at $9 an hour. I worked 9-10 hour shifts every day and most days I walked 20 minutes to and from work because my aunt only had one car and had to work to supply for her own family as well.

I eventually bumped heads with my aunts and they kicked me out as well. I began to become so enraged with my family and question why all the odds were stacked up against me. I’m doing everything I can for myself, and my baby so that my baby never have to want for anything in life. However, I knew that I had to move on and find a way. Eventually, I had to quit my job and my boyfriend's family allowed me to move in with them. It was rough in the beginning but he was more than supportive in this whole process and was there every step of the way.

Mrs. Tiffany became my mentor through TrueRose Inc., and became someone who pushed me to be the best that I possibly could be, especially when it came to my education. I was going to settle for the F’s and C’s that I had in my classes and just go to summer school but she expressed to me that in this house we thrive. She stepped in immediately and called my teachers to see what I could do to bring my grades up before the end of the semester. I literally had 3 days of school left with 3 projects to complete for one class and another assignment for a different class. When I tell you she sat there with me all night and pushed me to complete those projects and those assignments, I am serious. I was told I was guaranteed at least a ‘C’ in my classes and in the end I passed with an ‘A’ in both classes in just 2 out of the 3 days. She told me that I WILL get my diploma and that’s exactly what I had been working towards ever since. I knew that if my baby didn’t learn anything from me, she learns that even with all odds against me I pushed to at least complete high school and get my diploma.

She didn’t give up on me. Mrs. Tiffany had similar obstacles in her life and created an environment where I had no choice but to do my best. I keep repeating that she pushed me because sometimes that’s all we need is a little push to get through those hard times. The first moment I met her she told me;

"I am like a train. I may derail but I will always get right back on track".

That statement will stick with me forever. I no longer look at things as negative I look at them as lessons and I learn from them. I ask myself what can I do to better my situation, what can I do to overcome this obstacle.

I still had 2 years of school left, and motivated by my mentor, I made a plan to graduate a year early. Mrs. Tiffany stayed with me about paperwork needed to be signed from my biological parents and emails that needed to be sent out to the principal and counselors. I was going to go back on campus when school started on August 16th, 2021, but my daughter said she was ready to come a little early. Literally a week before school started, August 9th, 2021, I gave birth to my everything. I was just at school a week before that talking to counselors while pregnant and I then I came back with no belly. In September, I officially started night school which was mostly online and I turned 17. This all took place in just a year!

In addition to everything that was happening, my child was born premature. Her lungs and her immune system not yet developed. With Covid going around I decided to distance myself because I didn’t want to take the chance of bringing anything back to her. I was able to go back to work, still complete school online at my own pace, and go back and forth to the hospital to check on my baby girl. I felt so accomplished; I felt like a super mom. I had to make my daughter proud, and I had to make sure that I provided the support to her that I never had.

My experience with TrueRose has gave me access to a positive support system, and it has been amazing. I was always the older sister in my family and now I have found older sisters who want nothing but the best for me. I have older brothers as well who treat me like their own sister and want nothing but the best for me. Here, I feel accepted, free, and can actually express myself because of how open everyone is. We’ve had talks about my situation and we came to terms with it all. They are my true support system. I will never say I was perfect or can justify my actions but I can say it made me a stronger person, mentally. I honestly feel as though I owe them so much because their lives had to be adjusted to make room for not only me but my daughter as well.

Because they have demonstrated to me, I now know the power of prayer. I now see what God cannot do does not exist. Now, not all people believe in God but for me and my preference, I know my God will come through every time. I got into praise dancing, began volunteering with TrueRose Inc., and continued to surround myself with people who uplift and support me. I love God and everything he has allowed me to overcome and I definitely thank him for allowing this family to let me in and show me the true definition of love and family.

I never wanted to tell my story exactly because I wanted no pity from anybody. People around me could never tell I was going through anything throughout this very hard journey. When they looked at me I was smiling, laughing, and carrying on because I hid everything so well. When really I was hurting deep down inside but this is my testimony, this is MY story.

I want all girls to know that despite any obstacle that comes your way whether you’re a teen mom like me, struggling with things emotionally and mentally or even just struggling with school, or all of the above, you WILL overcome it all. You are greater than any obstacle thrown your way. I also live by “God gives his toughest battles, to his strongest soldiers” so when you feel all odds are against you just know you’re getting ready to break through and win that battle as long as you stay on the right path and have the right people by your side.

As of January 2nd, 2022, I have completed high school and will be pursuing a career along with TrueRose Inc. to continue to tell my story and encourage other women that nothing is impossible! I have paved a way for myself and for my daughter. I feel very accomplished, I’m so proud of ME. Without my support system and God, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

(This the real experience of one of our TrueRose Incubator mentees, Kyana Shearn.)


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