“It’s just that it feels like I try and I never get over that. I’ve been working since I was sixteen, but it’s like I can’t get hold of anything. It’s like when I do qualify for once to receive some of the programs that the government has, I’m always told that I have to pay a higher co-pay than everybody else. I do thank God for me having to pay $60, compared to if I had to pay for her which would be $250, but it’s just hard."
"My little daughter, she's got real bad asthma… she can’t run, she can’t play too much... When it’s really cold she start coughing. And the heater I've got in my house doesn't work... I want a big house, I want everything for her... I put my four kids first."
This is the day that they called me and told me that I had the job--I was so excited. So I took that picture, instead of a picture of me being depressed. I was excited that I had a job and hopefully I no longer have to depend on public assistance.
"How safe are you in this city? The police officer that just got killed the other day . . . if you could do that to a cop, what could you do to me? These kids, they need an outlet. And this community is not it. North Philly is not it... These kids have nowhere to go for safety or fun."
With Welfare now, what we get nowadays, it’s enough to live off of but it’s not enough to do anything to make our environment safer for our children... So the jobs that I need or that I want that I’m qualified for I can’t get because I need an education. And I tell [Welfare] that and it’s like, well, that’s just too bad, basically, you have to get a job. I need an education… But I’m held back, I’m at a standstill."
"I’m concerned with all my children but my son most definitely, especially with the young black men going to jail and killing one another. My heart really goes out to him. I tell him when I wash his football clothes, ‘Oh, mommy loves washing football clothes’ because that’s what I want him to do. He’s eight, he’s getting older, and look at what he sees. When he gets a couple years older I want to send him to some charter school. That’s why I want him to keep his grades up."
“I overcome my barriers by waking up every day, taking my daughter to school, taking my other daughter to daycare. Going out there, going to school, knowing that I’m about to be something. I’m about to get a better job, or I’m about to be a better person for my kids, because I’m striving for a better me, to raise my kids in a better environment."