Good morning everyone. My name is Brianna Payne. I am 20 years old, originally from New Bedford and I recently relocated to Springfield. I am speaking to you all today to share my journey and my experience at YWCA YouthBuild Springfield.
I was supposed to graduate high school in 2014. Due to certain circumstances, I was unable to graduate. I then gave birth to my two children in December of 2014. I struggled for about a year, deciding how I was going to accomplish my goals of getting my diploma and attending college. Becoming homeless with my two newborn babies was the most challenging obstacle I had to overcome.
I relocated to Springfield where I was given the greatest opportunity I’ve ever received in my life. It was a new beginning that gave me hope for a brighter and promising future. The YWCA where I currently live had referred me to the YWCA YouthBuild program.
I was a little skeptical at first because I had wanted a high school diploma and I had felt that I was lowering my standards. However, YouthBuild is one of the most extraordinary programs I’ve had the privilege of being a part of. There are tremendous benefits, opportunities and advantages that YouthBuild has provided me within just a short amount of time.
We have amazing staff and support counselors that work to help each of us with our own individual needs. The YouthBuild program is preparing me to be self sufficient and giving me the ability to further my education and move on to college.
I plan on attending Holyoke Community College in the spring of 2017 for Psychology and Criminal Justice thanks to the support, encouragement and motivation of YouthBuild. I am honestly so appreciative, grateful and privileged to say that I’ve made it here today through my personal perseverance, hard work and dedication but also the support from the director and staff at the YWCA of YouthBuild Springfield. Thank you all so much.