Tashai Green

I was only fifteen when I was sexually assaulted and got pregnant. I wasn’t ready to be a mom, I knew I couldn’t even take care of myself, much less a child. All I wanted to do at that point was die!

After about two months of hiding the ugly truth from my mom, I sat her down one Sunday afternoon and told her what happen to me. “I think that I might be pregnant,” I said to her. After confirming that I was indeed pregnant, she told my aunt and then decided to enroll me at the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation in Spanish Town.

I was ashamed because I didn’t want anyone to see me like this. But then who would have imagined that attending classes at the Centre would be my favorite thing to do. I was so enthusiastic about learning, and I knew I had to see this through for myself and my child.

At the Centre, I learned that giving up was not an option. Our teachers truly wanted the best for us. If there was a day where I went to school sad, I never left feeling the same way. I couldn’t hide anything from them. It’s like they saw right through each of us who were attending.

I salute the staff daily because I know that dealing with us wasn’t always fun. Having pregnant teens with crazy hormones is not always a pretty picture. But even during the rough times for them, the teachers never gave up on us!

Being in public was the worst part because people would often walk up to me and call me all sorts of names. It was draining – mentally, physically and emotionally!

I spent almost a year at the Centre and then returned to regular high school in January 2010. Being in high school and taking care of a baby was challenging. The sleepless nights, breastfeeding and constant studying – it wasn’t easy. I thankfully I graduated with four perfect CXC and one NVQJ.

I was unemployed for a year after leaving high school, until I landed a job as a waitress in Ocho Rios. I worked for couple months then decide to go back to school. Two weeks into school I lost my job, but managed to complete a Patient Care course.

On weekends, I would go to a lady’s house to do some house cleaning for and her family. The little cash from that would have to cover any expenses that I had, including school fees. After completing my course, I managed to land a job at a nursing home with the Mustard Seed Community.

I am now a Phlebotomist and a Med Tech. God truly saw me through and he deserves the glory. I am not fully where I want to be (yet), but thanks to God, I am not where I once was! I am Tashai Twaana Green, and I will continue to push forward!

A big thank you to the Women’s Centre for giving me a second chance!