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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Chelsea 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.