An unknown author once said, “A child needs both parents to survive”. However, I’m sure that he never met Tammy. In my opinion, Tammy is the strongest woman at Fullerton College. But before I explain why, I wanted to give you guys a little history about her life. At 11 years old, Tammy’s father died of cancer and although Tammy had her mother, she was dealing with a drug addiction that was taking over her life. Tammy told me of the stories of walking up to cocaine spread across the coffee tables, days of her mother dispersing for days and being left with her grandmother, not knowing when she was going to go home.
Tammy was left alone to provide for herself and her 8 year old brother. Since she was 14 years old, she told me about how she had to work to put food on the table. She was in charge of getting her brother to school because her mother was too stoned to take them to school. Furthermore, Tammy’s mother would tell them that it was a national holiday because she didn’t want to get up in the morning to take her kids to school. It wasn't until Tammy was 18 years old that things began to change. Tammy’s mother discovered Christ and stopped using drugs. But by that time it was already too late. Tammy had been a mother for half a decade. She was raising herself and her younger brother.
Finally, Tammy found refuge at Fullerton College because she got away from her family. What was even more shocking to her family was her choice to take care of herself. She moved in with her boyfriend so that she could have a fresh start. She wanted to remove herself from her mother because even though she was sober she was still unbearable. Tammy expresses the ongoing pain she felt when her mother credits God, not her children, for giving her the motivation she need to stop using drugs. However, despite all the drama with her family Tammy made it. She was working 40 hours a week, maintains a 4.0 GPA and has a loving relationship. She taught me the power of believing in yourself especially when no one else will. More importantly, she taught me that you can overcome anything if you just believe in yourself!