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Living United is Reaching Back

December 31, 2014

LIVE UNITED is a call to reach out a hand to one and improve the quality of life for all. It’s about impact, passion and action. In the series “Living United is…”, we share personal posts from our staff about how and why they choose to live united.
Marchelle Smith, coordinator at Englewood Family Resource Center, gave us a deeply personal reflection on how living united has impacted her life.
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Marchelle helps students overcome the same non-academic barriers to success that she encountered as a teenager, and uses her personal experience to help change lives.
Marchelle (center) helps students overcome the same non-academic barriers to success that she encountered as a teenager, and uses her personal experience to help change lives.
I remember a young lady telling me that her parents divorced when she was just a little girl and the only father figure in her life was her grandfather, who died of cancer. She felt all alone, rejected, neglected and full of anger. She would look for love in all the wrong places and faces. She never knew what a healthy relationship looked like, so she found herself getting involved in unhealthy relationships just to try to a fill a void, even if it was fake and abusive. Well, I guess something is better than nothing in her case.

Anyway, she went on to tell me that she started having suicidal thoughts and wanted to end her life. She was withdrawn from society but at the same time she was involved in school activities just to mask the pain of being alone. No one knew what she was going through, not even her own mom. She would go to school and try her best to cope with life situations on her own, but she was slowly dying on the inside, and yet she was expected to go to school and focus on math, reading, history, etc… it was almost impossible to be that alone. One day she went home and attempted suicide but fear overtook her. So she prayed long and hard that God would take her life in her sleep. She went to sleep and God didn’t answer her prayer. She was now angry with God, the world and anyone who tried to get close to her. She even hated herself.

Well, that person was “ME.” I LIVE UNITED because I know how difficult it is to go through life alone without a person to lead and guide you in the right direction. I know how it feels to live without hope. Well, if it wasn’t for mentors, coaches, counselors etc… standing in the gap for me, helping me, imparting in me, I don’t think I would be here to talk about it today. I was able to graduate from high school, finish college and land a good job. Just like they saved my life, I want to do the same and save as many lives as I can through Full Service Schools. I am a success story and I want to contribute to more success stories; therefore, I LIVE UNITED!