Vicky’s Testimony

Victoria Trullinger Stone

When I was almost 18, and a mother of 2, I came to COPE when I fell behind at my regular high school. At first I saw it as an opportunity to quickly finish my schooling so I can move on to providing the life my children deserve. I quickly realized I was mistaken and that COPE wasn’t just a stepping stone to get to better things, it was in fact, one of those ” better things” I was in search of.I learned more than anywhere else the importance of believing in yourself and that I was not just another statistic. It was a place where I forged life long friendships, not just with the students, but with the staff as well. I met my bestfriend of almost 15 years there and to this day are each other’s team of encouragement. Mrs.Debbie was my teacher but since has grown to be a part of the lives of my children and is still a support team to this day when I’m having trouble navigating through parenting teenagers. I am now a successful married mother of 4. And a lot of that has to do with this program, and the Teachers Sand the importance that was placed on guiding us in the right direction and supporting us on our way. I believe some of that was lost when COPE was dissolved into ZENITH. There are more distractions now, less emphasis on empowering these beautiful young ladies to succeed. Thank God for angels like Mrs.Debbie who, is probably busier now with TMCL than she was before she retired. COPE was hands down, the best thing that ever became part of my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeths’s Story, Part 2

My name is Elizabeth (Lizzy for short), and the last time I shared my story with you all was back in 2012, so here is a five year update.
My son, Michael, is now 7 years old and in 1st grade! He is at the phase where he hates school because it isn’t fun like kindergarten was. His love for animals has grown stronger and I absolutley love it because it is something that we bond over. We plan to save as many animals as we can!
Chris and I are still together and married. We are still tryng to mend the wounds from our past and it’s a working progress, so we will see where life takes us. So far it has taken us from Florida to Tennssee, and from Tennessee all the way to the west coast up to Washington. This will be our last year as a military family, thankfully, and we plan to head back to Florida this summer.
Within these past five years, I actualy graduated from a Technical school for Medical Administrative Assistanting (medical office admin). I had hoped to get a career going in this field but luck wasn’t in my favor. I graduated in 2014 and I still haven’t been able to find a job. It is really hard not having a job because it would help with bills and allow us to give Michael the things I feel he deserves. I try not to dwell on the negative though. Not being able to have a career in that field has given me time to figure out my true passion, animals!
I have been volunteering at the Humane society here in Washington and I have also got the drive to go back to school once we are back in Florida for Zoology and Marine Biology. Yes, being a mother you need to have that income to provide for your family, so you usually go for the more practical jobs. Something you need to remember though, you are setting an example for your son or daughter. At least for me, I want my son to know that his dreams and ambitions are very important, and that he should always strive to reach them, because in the end, he needs to be happy with his life which includes his career. I want him to do what he loves and not what is easy. It’s something my grandparents taught me and I want to make sure my kids know the same thing.
When it comes to family, I have always been closest to my grandparents, and I still am. My mother however, is a different story. If you read my first story, you know about the incident I had with her. Since then, she hasn’t laid a finger on me which is good, but things still got worse. To keep it short, I basically only talk to her because my little sister is still stuck under her roof and I refuse to let her abuse my sister like she did me. I have tried to keep a decent relationship with her for Michaels sake, but sometimes you just have to cut out the negative people.
As to friends, I basicly only have one really close friend who I have known for 15 years. I pretty much just randomly see or talk to everyone else. They are more like acquaintances. It sounds sad, but I actually like it. Less drama!
All in all, this isn’t the life I had planned for myself when I was younger, but it is a good life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Everything Happens for a Reason.

Yashira Lebron: Class of 2011

My name is Yashira Lebron. I went to COPE in 2001. It was a great experience. They gave me the opportunity to achieve my goals and guide me to an effective parenting. My teachers back then were, Mrs. Peggy, Mrs. Debbie Newell, Mr. Myers and my daughter’s baby sitters were Mrs. Linda, Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. Teresa. All of them are an important part of my life. I will never forget what they did for me and my daughter.

Tonya McKinney: Class of 1993

Tonya McKinney
I started COPE in 1993, I was 16 and pregnant. I had no idea what I was doing or how to be a parent! With the help of COPE I was taught how to be a parent, taken to all my prenatal appointments and how to prepare myself for life in general! I was able to work at my own pace and graduate early with extra credits and a CNA certificate. Without COPE I would have been another drop out statistic! I wouldn’t have know how to care properly for my child! I wouldn’t have learned how to get myself out of a bad situation and make the best of it!! The teachers were so caring full of useful advice and treated us like their daughters!! Because of that I was able to raise my daughter to know her value and she is now married to the above mentioned service man!! Our small circle at COPE came full circle many years later when our kids met in high school. Without COPE I truly believe none of it would have been possible!!

Michelle Purcell: A Teacher’s Testimony

Michelle Purcell: Former Cope Teacher
As a former COPE teacher, the extra support and special attention the girls and their babies received made the difference between becoming another dropout statistic or a success story. With encouragement and higher expectations as new moms, COPE girls chose a better path for their babies and themselves. We held their hands, wiped some tears, helped them get on their feet and find their way as students and new parents. The human element is still necessary.

Teresa Kamerik:Class of 1994

 

Teresa Kamerik:
I too would have been a drop-out because I was here alone with a child in 1994. Cope helped me in so many ways. They taught me great parenting skills and went out of their way to help me and make sure I graduated. The teachers were there to help any way they could including when my son was in the hospital. My son has grown up and is now in the service and I have to contribute some that to the way I was taught to raise him due to cope. I remember when we went to (I believe it was the middle school ) and talked to some kids about our experiences so cope did not only help the girls and their children at the school but they also tried to helped other kids in the community. There were many times that cope helped me get medical attention for my son that other wise he may have not gotten due to transportation issues. I love you Ms.Debbie. You are just one of the several people that were there that made an amazing impact on my life and will forever be in my heart.