Worthy of Love

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My name is Chelsea Romero and I myself once was a child with an incarcerated parent. My dad was arrested when I was 4 and I witnessed it all happen. My escape was my babysitter at daycare named Mrs. Margerate. She would be there emotionally and physically whenever we needed her. She helped my mom out with anything she could. From food to supplies for school. Something I wish hadn’t happened at all was the whole situation. From the moment I knew what was going on, everything inside of me changed completely. I wasn’t mentally prepared for anything to happen to my family but who am I kidding? Nobody EVER is. I want the world to know that asking and being in a child’s life regardless if it’s your child, niece, student, etc., is super important. They need to know that they are not alone. That they are worthy of love and that they do not deserve anything negative to come over their life. The world needs to know that children with incarcerated parents need so much support. More support than ever. They need people to help them get their minds off their home life. At the time of my father’s incarceration, I wish I had told my teachers who were my moms at school. They would’ve helped me more emotionally. The whole situation drained me so much that it affected me academically, but it truly helped me mature at an early age and it helped me decide for myself that what was happening was only temporary not permanent. 

Now, I have graduated high school in June of 2017. Started cosmetology school in August of 2017 to hopefully get my diploma and still currently continuing. My goal is to become a traveling hair and makeup artist. I aspire to work in the industry with big brands. I want to have my own business and salon. Create a job for myself that I truly love doing. Life is great, my family is whole once again. We are happier than ever and I have God to thank because after all the nights I cried myself to sleep and told myself that things will get better, they actually did. Everything is possible in life and always know, things will always happen if you stay positive.

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chelseaChelsea Romero is a recent graduate from high school. For her senior high school graduation project in the spring of 2017, Chelsea wrote for the first time about her experience, then presented her work to a team of school staff members. This post first appeared in the Our Children’s Place of Coastal Horizons Center newsletter.



  1. Dennis Embry's avatar
    Dennis Embry
    | Permalink
    Dear Chelsea,

    You are not the only such child. Beginning in junior high, my parents engaged in terrible physical and verbal violence, triggered by their alcohol addictions and family secrets that I discovered as an adult.I saw my parents arrested many times, I earned money and even posted bond for them, because I had a very, very good job in High School as a U.S. Capitol Page. My parents also went to a state mental hospital when I was in college. My parents' difficulties were documented in the small town police blotter. My spiritual mentor, an amazing woman, told me when I was in 7th grade: "Your parents' actions hurt you, but their actions are not you." Years later, I realized that this amazing woman who had kept her maiden name in the 1960s was the spouse of the late judge who sentenced my mom and dad. And I'm doing pretty damn well today, and I can only love my parents despite their illnesses. In the end, the begat me. I grew up. I've done well. And it Scott Peck's words, if we arrive at adulthood without committing a heinous crime, they did a good enough job. The rest is up to us. I'd say you are doing well, and I'd bet on you in Vegas to continue. This not so say, that kids just need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. I had, as did you, adults who noticed my talents despite the craziness and holes in my skills. Your essay reminds me why I work so hard to help other people's kids, because other people's kids helped me be the human I am today. Thank you.
  2. Lisa's avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your story, Chelsea. Sometimes it's difficult for adults to know how to help and you sum it up -- the little things like reaching out and being there are so important. You are inspiring!
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