Toshiba Lotayor Channer-Wallen
At what age did you give birth?
What were the struggles you faced being an adolescent mother?
I had a hard time accepting the reality of my condition, as I was ashamed. Dealing with disappointment from family members and also facing the judgmental eyes of the public was very tough. In addition, the stigma that comes with teenage pregnancy made things very difficult.
How did the Women Centre assist you?
The Centre regurgitated the importance of a good and sound education regardless of any circumstances. Their continuous counseling and encouragement propelled me in the right direction. A part of the process was to set goals to be achieved over the next 5 years. Some of the which are as follows:
– Be the best Mother you can be
– Education is your number ONE PRIORITY
– Abstain from sex until education goals is achieved
– Stay FOCUSED and always remember your child is depending on your success
– It’s not over until you succeed
– We fall down but we MUST get up and continue
– God never gives you more than what you can bear
What are you currently doing?
I am happily married! I am currently employed at the Tropical Medicine Research Institute (TMRI) as a Senior Medical Technologist in the Sickle Cell Unit, UWI
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to be pregnant with my second & third child (big smile) and obtain a Masters Degree and PHD in Epidemiology.
Word of advice
The Centre is at your disposal. Listen to advice given, follow instructions and make good use of every opportunity. Being a teenage mother does not prevent you from becoming who you want to be. No matter how bad you think it is or how bad it gets YOUR’E GOING TO MAKE IT! Have patience and engage in consistent action. Stay focused and determined. Don’t dwell in the past but look towards the Future. Envision yourself becoming who want to become and don’t give up until you have attained your goal.
“Seek He first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33