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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Class of 2016: Neilza Santos

My name is Neilza Santos. I am 19 years old and I have a 1 year old son named Alex. I got pregnant at 17 and had my son my senior year of high school. Not Knowing anything about parenting or about babies,  with C.O.P.E all things were possible. I was able to finish my last year of high school , while the teachers and staff of cope took great care of my son. I COULDN’T HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT THE LOVE AND SUPPORT OF TEEN MOM’S CHOICE LIFE AND C.O.P.E .
Class of 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelly Mast: A Testimony of COPE

Kelly Mast

Testimony of Angeline Bennett

Pregnant at 15 years old with your whole life ahead of you is probably one of the scariest things a young girl can face. Being a child yourself you have no idea how to be a proper mother, not to mention many girls have little to no support. COPE changed that. Knowing that I could still accomplish my goals in school and raise my child took a great weight off my shoulders. I loved being surrounded by fellow peers who had the same struggles as me, we could all work together, hold each others hands when times got rough and encourage one another to just keep on truckin’. I couldn’t imagine where I would now without COPE. Ms.Debbie taught me the basics or parent hood, she showed me things I still use today, like how to make delicious Alfredo sauce! And I cannot emphasis enough, how important the sex education and the free clinic were. Access to the clinic and proper sex education is likely the reason that I’ve been smart about decisions when it comes to sex.
I am now 24 years old with a beautiful 8 year old daughter. I graduated on time with my class, and moved on to college right away. I work now and attend school at UCF, and I truly owe it all to COPE. The close support group, the clinic, the teachers who just wanted us to succeed. It breaks my heart to hear the girls are not getting the same treatment I did as a girl. I can’t imagine how many days I probably would have dreaded going to school because I had to be around people who didn’t understand what it’s like to be a mother. I can’t imagine how scary giving birth would be not knowing what to expect because nobody showed me or told me. COPE really changed so much for me, not just by helping me graduate, but by helping me be a better a person, who would be useful in society and not just another “statistic”

Testimony of Lisa Overby: Class of 1989

Lisa Overby I recall being one of the first students to attend COPE in 1989, without this program, I would have been a high school drop out; just a statistic. It was a wonderful experience being able to care for my daughter while getting an education. I even received counseling on how to cope being a young parent, this program shaped me. I met other young moms and we built each other up. I went on to graduate and earn a college degree. I joined the military and became a selfless serving person who cares for her community and it all started with COPE. I love you Debbie,  your compassion has been ever- lasting in my life to this day. I’m proud to be a part of that legacy.                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angeline Bennett : COPE Testimony


Pregnant at 15 years old with your whole life ahead of you is probably one of the scariest things a young girl can face. Being a child yourself you have no idea how to be a proper mother, not to mention many girls have little to no support. COPE changed that. Knowing that I could still accomplish my goals in school and raise my child took a great weight off my shoulders. I loved being surrounded by fellow peers who had the same struggles as me, we could all work together, hold each others hands when times got rough and encourage one another to just keep on ‘truckin’. I couldn’t imagine where I would now without COPE. Ms. Debbie taught me the basics or parent- hood, she showed me things I still use today, like how to make delicious Alfredo sauce! And I cannot emphasis enough, how important the sex education and the free clinic were. Access to the clinic and proper sex education is likely the reason that I’ve been smart about decisions when it comes to sex.

I am now 24 years old with a beautiful 8 year old daughter. I graduated on time with my class, and moved on to college right away. I work now and attend school at UCF, and I truly owe it all to COPE. The close support group, the clinic, the teachers who just wanted us to succeed. It breaks my heart to hear the girls are not getting the same treatment I did as a girl. I can’t imagine how many days I probably would have dreaded going to school because I had to be around people who didn’t understand what it’s like to be a mother. I can’t imagine how scary giving birth would be not knowing what to expect because nobody showed me or told me. COPE really changed so much for me, not just by helping me graduate, but by helping me be a better a person, who would be useful in society and not just another “statistic”.
>> Angeline Bennett