Quantcast
How I Beat The Odds Of Becoming A Statistic
Getty Images

How I Beat The Odds Of Becoming A Statistic

Motherhood

Let's flashback to 2007.


My home church in Killeen, Texas was having one of its annual youth-led services in honor of the seniors graduating high school. Church was ending, and it was time for altar call. The youth minister asked if I could come down because he wanted to pray over my next journey in life as a college student.

I expected to hear the typical “God watch over my life, keep me safe, and help me to remain focused in school" prayer. Instead, the minister tells me that I have overcome the odds of a single-parent home without even realizing it. He says by my dad dying when I was a younger kid, the odds were already stacked against me and that most people can't survive the death of a parent.

Usually their life spirals downhill immediately afterwards.

He says there was a calling to be fulfilled because I overcame the odds. He was speaking about those single-parent statistics that say most children growing up in that type of environment will drop out of school, turn to drugs and alcohol, and become a single parent themselves. It was then at that moment when I thought to myself, “Hmm, I'm not a statistic after all, maybe there's more to my life than I originally thought."

I kept that memory close to me and used it as motivation whenever I thought about quitting college.

Fast forward to 2009, I'm sitting in a psychology class, and again I am hearing those same statistics about single-parent households. The topic of discussion is the statistics of those living in poverty and low-income families. I hear the professor and other students say, “Most children in single-parent homes are African American or Hispanic, uneducated, will not graduate high school, are prone to drug use, and will have a criminal record."

I proceeded to tune them out, but the more they spoke, the more infuriated I became. Surely everyone at this age has been taught the damaging effects of generalizing stereotypes to a specific group of people.

I decided to join the classroom discussion because I was in the outlier that beat the odds, and I wanted everyone to know it. I graduated at the top of my high school class and was one of the few that actually went off to a four-year college. I didn't have any problematic behaviors, no drug use, no criminal record, and I did not have any children. It seemed like no matter how much I spoke up for myself and the other outliers that existed, no one was listening. It's as if they already had their minds made up about what was factual, but no amount of research studies was going to make me feel defeated. In fact, most people aren't aware of the real statistics that state Caucasians actually have the highest rates of welfare assistance, and African American women are earning more degrees than ever before, but no one is talking about that either.

I remember being so angry that I left class to call my mom so that I could vent to her. I was on the verge of tears. How dare these people and society try to tell me how my life is going to go? They don't know anything about me. It was at that moment I felt even more motivated to beat those odds and statistics against me. I wanted to prove everyone wrong, especially those that doubted me.

Children from single-parent homes can be successful.

In fact, I think it motivates us to work harder because we want better for ourselves. We know what it feels like to go without as children, so we are sure to make up for that in our adult lives. Being raised in a single-parent home has taught me:

How to be a strong woman:

I am a self-sufficient woman that has the determination and drive to be successful in life. I can be just as successful as, if not more than, any man, or child that grew up with both of their parents in their lives. My circumstances do not define my abilities to be great. I learned how to be bold and fearless.

How to survive on my own:

I understood the importance of handling responsibilities at an early age by watching my mom. She taught me how to work hard, run a household, and manage money at a young age. She used to say, “If all else fails, bills will be paid, and food will be on the table." I somehow became the family cook as well.

How to persevere:

Despite trials and tribulations that may arise, I will persevere. Setbacks will arise, but I am a survivor. I've learned to keep moving forward regardless of what happens in life. Failure is not an option.

I remember at one point thinking I would never make it go college because I kept hearing those same statistics over and over. Luckily, I was able to see beyond my current circumstances by refusing to let anything negative guide my life. Not only did I graduate high school and college, but I went on to earn a Master's degree.

I quickly learned how powerful my own words and thoughts can be.

This week's motto is “Not a Statistic." Be bold and brave enough to beat those statistics, stereotypes, and odds set against you. Kick down the doors to discrimination, and write your own rules. Like the old saying goes, you can do anything you put your mind to, just believe in yourself.

Never let anyone tell you that you can't reach your goals, or that you won't be successful. Make the choice to be who you want to be, not what “they" say you will be.

Featured image by Getty Images

What 14 People Say 'Great Sex' Means To Them

What is the difference between bad, average, and great sex? If I ask thirty people this question, I would get thirty different answers. As someone who's had their fair share of both good and not-so-good sex, I understand that there is no one size fits all answer to this question. "Great sex" can mean different things to different people. Case in point, I once had an amazing sexual experience with a guy that a mutual “friend” had a horrible experience with. Great sex is subjective AF! According to the mutual friend his sex was subpar at best. One person’s trash is another one’s treasure. Great sex boils down to what is good for you and your partner at the moment. No two people are the same so no two sexual experiences will be the same either.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
Halle Bailey On The Revolutionary Act Of Wearing Her Locs As Ariel

When the trailer for The Little Mermaid dropped, everyone finally got to see Halle Bailey as Ariel. Black women and girls raved over the singer/ actress’s beauty as the beloved character while she belted out the Disney classic song “Part of Your World.” And one of the most noticeable things that many fans pointed out was that the character’s red hair was made of locs.

Keep reading...Show less
5 Times Megan Thee Stallion & Pardison Fontaine Showed Their Love On The 'Gram

Another day, another photo of Megan Thee Stallion that went viral. But this time she had a little help from her boyfriend Pardison “Pardi” Fontaine. The “Pressurelicious” artist’s fans were in for a surprise a few days ago after Megan posted a photo of herself lying on the floor with her legs up and wrapped around Pardi’s waist. Pardi appeared to be focused on playing his video game while Meg’s derriere was tooted in the air but he managed to wrap his arms around it as he held the controller.

Keep reading...Show less
The Mamie 'Till' Movie Wants To Empower Us

Sitting in the theater getting ready to watch Nopefor the third time, I was excited, like a good film nerd, to see my friend's first-time reactions to the fun UFO horror-comedy. My heart sank immediately when a trailer for the film Till, which follows the life and legacy of Emmett Till's mother, Mamie, started playing first.

My knee-jerk reaction, of course, comes from years of watching film and TV that have exploited Black trauma onscreen and were created with little (if any) consideration for what could emotionally trigger the Black audience. The 1955 murder of Emmett Till is so heartbreaking and inherently violent; would this film make us live through that violence on screen?

Fortunately, no!

This week, before watching Gina Prince-Bythewood's incredible The Woman King, a featurette for Till played in place of a trailer and it soothed my fears.

"There will be no physical violence against Black people on screen," the film's award-winning director and co-writer Chinonye Chukwu says in the featurette. "I'm not interested in relishing in that kind of physical trauma. We're going to begin and end in a place of joy," she says.

Starring Danielle Deadwyler (whose heartfelt performance on HBO's Station Eleven stole the show) as Mamie, Till is a celebration of Mamie's tireless activism which sparked the civil rights movement that continues today and ultimately culminated in President Biden signing the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act into law just a few months ago in March 2022. "Mamie Till Mobley is a hero," says Alana Mayo, president of Orion Pictures, the production company behind the film. "I'm really, really committed to making movies not just by us, but for us," Mayo says in the featurette.

After a private screening of Till, this week, Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, tweeted that the film was "#Powerful" and "a must see."

Mamie's story of courage in the face of unspeakable tragedy deserves to be told--especially as we continue the fight for civil rights today. Knowing that the Black filmmakers behind the film are centering Black joy and aiming for our empowerment through the film makes a world of difference.

TILLis in theaters October 14.

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.



"

Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts