By Martina Johnson, College Transition Student
I’m a Liberian. I’m the youngest child of my parents. Liberia is on the west coast of Africa. Growing up as a child, my mother made us feel safe when we needed comfort. She was always there when we needed her. She made sure there was always something for us to eat, and taught us how to care, love and share with each other. So those many good things I learned from her, made me who I’m today.
I am grateful to both my parents; they are the reason why I’m alive. They both stood by me when I needed them even during adulthood. After my dad passed away, my mother took the responsibilities of the family. Anyone can be a mother but it takes someone special to be a mom. She played the role of both parents. The fruit of her labor is now being paid off in her children.
I had lots of difficulties going to school. There was a civil crisis in the country for 14 years so I wasn’t really focused with school activities because of the environment. The educational system was very poor right after the war. Teachers weren’t being paid, and this had serious impact on students in the classroom. It hurts to see your dreams die, all because of a situation you can’t control.
Because of the war, things really got worse, but I persisted to the end. I went back to school and then I became a mother. This wasn’t easy for me. I had to look out for the child and myself. This was very challenging for me, but I kept focused and stood as a true mother during the war. I went hungry when there wasn’t enough food for the family. I put my children first in everything. That’s the kind of mother I am and will always be.
After my family and I came to the US, I had a golden opportunity to continue my education. I got a certificate as Nurse Assistant in my first year in the United States and then became a Certified Medication Aide in the following two years. I’m now working and looking forward to going back to school for a college degree. I always tell my kids the process of learning is the most important thing in one’s life. To all mothers all over the world, know that children are gifts from God so, treat them in a very special way. To those good and overwhelmed mothers, continue your good work.