Ms.Debbie’s Note: I have been wanting Jannah to write her story for quite awhile and I am thrilled that she responded so quickly. Jannah was one of those stand-out students at COPE that was so respectful and kind to EVERYONE. I have been tracking her comings and goings for about two years now and I have been seeing her as such a strong-minded Christian Leader with so many positive accomplishments in her life. For this reason I have chosen Jannah as our Celebrity Mom for our website…Congratulations Jannah!
At the tender age of 14, I welcomed my first child, a daughter, Qui’aurie, into the world. At 17 years I discovered that I was pregnant with my second child, a son, Qui’vonce. I remembers thinking to myself over and over “I never thought that it would happen again”! I felt my life was over.
In early 2001, I battled severe depression and suicide. This is a period in my life which I define as my divine opportunity to recognize my need for a savior. I recalls speaking to Miss Debbie about this condition and I often quote the advice she gave to me, “stop the stinking thinking.” It sounds funny but it really helped. By the middle of that year my life was radically changed by the Love of God. Today I spend my time passionately pouring that same Love into to the lives of everyone I encounter through various speaking opportunities and one-on-one counseling sessions.
In 2008 I married Shawn Welcome, a nationally recognized performance Poet, Author and Motivational Speaker. My husband and I are both entrepreneurs and share a passion for our Anti-aging company helping others to maintain that fountain of youth look with our beloved product Nerium. I currently works for Wycliffe Bible Translators USA Headquarters here in Orlando, Florida, and serve on the Board of Directors for Bethany Christian Services, a private, licensed, non-profit adoption and family service agency. This agency serves 30 states from over 70 locations and 13 international countries. In July of 2011 I formed a women’s group called B.L.U.S.H. which stands for Bountiful Love Under Sound Happiness. B.L.U.S.H. brings woman from all walks of life together in order to strengthen each other through organic relationships. B.L.U.S.H. is founded upon the truth that although we are all diverse, we have these in common: strength, endurance and love.
Attending COPE was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. Miss Debbie and Mrs. Anne were always there to encourage me every step of the way. I also learned amazing parenting skills and experienced how to bond with my children in ways that could impact them forever. As a teenage mom there were really no options outside of getting my GED that would allow me to bring my children to school and continue my education in an environment that catered to my situation. I would not be who I am today without Miss Debbie and the “COPE team.
My advice to every young mother: Always remember that it’s not where you have been or what you have been through that determines where you are going. Your past does not determine your future. Know that you can change your future by simply changing the way you think…your philosophy about life. If you are not pleased with the current state of your life, the relationship you have (boyfriend), the money that you make, you have the power to change it! Nothing changes in our lives until we change. We have all made mistakes and guess what? We always will. Learn from them. Love yourself and you can learn to love others. Never let anyone look down on you because you are young. You can accomplish anything and even twice as much with courage, faith and a solid “made up mind”. GO FOR IT!