Hi, my name is Kenyatta and I’m 16 years old.  I’d like to share my story with you about what Sunshine has done in my life.  

Let me paint a picture for you about what my life was like about a year ago.  

I am the youngest of 5 kids and grew up mostly with just my mom and older siblings.  I moved around a lot and attended a lot of different schools. At the age of 15 I was attending Hansberry College Prep and maintaining good grades. You see, my dream has always been to become a math teacher and my family knew I was smart enough to do that.  Well, last year, I was going through a really hard time. I was feeling alone and didn’t have many friends. I felt like I had to put up walls with people. I got in fights a lot. On top of that, I found out I was pregnant. I was devastated. I cried and cried.  I felt embarrassed about being pregnant so young. People told me I would never be able to finish school, much less go to college. They said no man would ever want me because I had a child. And I believed them. My mom was supportive but I still felt depressed. As my pregnancy progressed and I got nauseous, I just didn’t know what to do.  I even considered abortion. I felt so alone.  

In the fall, a friend of mine from school invited me to Sunshine’s high school program.  Reluctantly, I decided to go. It was like nothing I’d ever been to before! Lamar, the director, gave a message and for the first time, I felt like the Bible made sense to me.  From that day on, I tried to come to everything I could at Sunshine. I felt so much acceptance and belonging. Lamar would teach us about loving everyone and working hard. He helped me understand the Bible and God more and I become more serious about my faith.  Lamar breaks things down so I can understand them and relate to them. He spoke a lot about what God says about our worth. I really understand my worth now and believe it! People at Sunshine even threw me a baby shower!

On May 17th, I gave birth to my beautiful son My’Khale.  Even though being a teen mother is hard, I feel like Sunshine supports me along with my mom and I have a new outlook on life.  I am joyful, hopeful, and excited. I have a genuine smile on my face now. I have been able to work at Greenline Coffee during the summer through Sunshine’s WorkLife program.  I am still in school and plan to go to college when I graduate to become a math teacher. Math has always made sense to me and I really want to teach middle school or high school students one day.  

I’m so thankful for how Sunshine has supported me through one of the hardest times of my life.