Shanice’s story, a Stand IN Fellow

Parent & Family Engagement | 12/13/2019

Shanice Downing
Stand Indiana Fellow

Toward the end of high school, I didn’t go to prom or homecoming or footballs games because I was pregnant with my son, Xavier. I didn’t really mind missing these things because I was lucky. I had supportive parents.

My parents were shocked at first and maybe even a little disappointed, but they came around and we mapped out a plan. I would finish high school, get my diploma, then explore career options. My parents watched Xavier while I finished college and earned my dental assistant degree. They pushed me to do my best because they knew my education would be the thing that allowed me to provide for my son.

My mother always told me that my future would greatly affect my son’s future and that I needed to have a great education to have the futures we both deserved. I didn’t fully understand this at first, but later in life, I came to whole heartedly believe these words changed my life.

Before becoming pregnant, I was the quiet kid at school. I didn’t talk much, and I feared judgment from my peers. I didn’t want my classmates to make assumptions about me or the type of girl I was. The fact I feared my classmates, but not my mom and dad, helped me realize how lucky I was to have such supportive parents. It also made me realize the type of parent I wanted to be and the type of child I wanted to raise when I had my son.

My mom and dad have supported me every step of the way, even in my most recent career move to substitute teacher. Now I get the privilege of helping young children understand the value education can have in their lives.

Today, I am a mother of two, engaged to be married and outstandingly happy. I know if my own family wouldn’t have pushed my education, pushed me to follow my dreams — my life wouldn’t look like it does today.

I got involved with Stand for Children Indiana because, even with my mother’s words and my passion for education, I knew there was more I could learn and more I could do. Through Stand, I have learned how to do the same things for my children that my parents did for me. I have learned the best ways to communicate with my children’s teachers and school staff, and it’s helped me plan for their futures. I am more involved than ever with my children’s educations.

I can’t speak highly enough about Stand for Children Indiana. I am so grateful for the ways they are helping not only me, but other parents in our community. If you want to get involved, I highly recommend that you signup to become a member today.

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