Growing up a New Yorker, the value of a good education morality was always a priority in our home. As I grew older, peer pressure and the other influences of life became the focus of this young adult who was bored with the “Good Girl” image. Those thoughts were the beginning of several decisions that changed my life.

Bushwick, Brooklyn the borough where I attended school was characterized as a low turnout for graduating students resulting in failed futures. Although my mother’s guidance was the dominating factor in everything and everyone that I was associated with, her perspective of my life changed. Today she is my Angel in Heaven, but back then she began to work diligently to relocate us. Her strength and determination was successful and in 1975 she bought her first home.

Moving to a middle class neighborhood wasn’t where all the excitement seemed to be so at the age of 19, I decided to go to where the happenings were, that was the start of choices that changed my life. For many years, I was able to find the amusement I had been seeking however, my thirst for education and the accomplishment of personal goals began to take a back seat to the drive and determination my mom had instilled in me.

Married at the age of 25, to the young man I moved out of my home to be close to, together we began making unhealthy choices. Throughout the following years, my husband and I not only abused a lot of money but also lost the trust of our family. Eventually, not even being able to trust each other, we separated and I became a soldier in the U.S. Army.

The military blessed me in many ways; two of those blessings were my daughters. An enlisted single mother, I decided to give my marriage another try. El Paso, Texas where my children were born was 1 mile away from Mexico. The lack of employment opportunities and my always being away from my family was “the reason” my husband used to relapse.

Receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Army, I found myself alone again and uncertain about the future of my daughters and I. My desperation and separation proved to be “my reason” to relapse. After a few more break-ups and accepting that I was responsible for two children who did not ask to have an addicted mother and father, God began his work!

Looking for a place where my daughters and I can feel at home, I was blessed with Section 8. Meeting with my advisors became an opportunity for encouragement and advancement. An advisor by the name of Ramona Creel offered me an opportunity I could not resist. She explained “If you set three goals for yourself and your children we at Section 8 would assist you in reaching those goals”.

My first priority was to be clean and free of addiction. I also wanted to enroll in Atlanta Area Technical College; there I met my Section 8 landlord who later became my instructor and suggested that I become a teacher. Another one of those goals was to own my own home. Today I am free of my addiction and a Certified Teacher who has earned a Diploma, Associate Degree, Bachelor Degree and will soon have a Master’s Degree in Education.  A home owner for ten years, my experiences in life and the people who have been instrumental in me achieving these goals, believed in me when I did not believe in myself.

Saying Enough is a venue for us to share our challenges, get motivated and encourage those who don’t believe. Who knew God was working it all out? Who knew he had a purpose such as this for me? SayingEnough.org is a site where broken hearts can be mended and made whole. Establishing a meeting place where we can share our intelligence, be creative and become catalyst for change in the lives of others is our mission, Say Enough!

In ALL we do…We can make a DIFFERENCE!

 

One thought on “About Essinita Mathew Harris

  1. Essinita, you’re right, I am so proud of my sister! What a story and true testimony to the strength and wisdom of God. You have proven what a woman can do in the light of the Lord and continue to live the life He desires and wishes for you. I am so blessed to have you in my life and know that our relationship will maintain and flourish as time goes on. Congratulations on this beautiful, inspiring website!

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