Beyond Emancipation

Chareria & Jeremiah: Making a Home

“Home is what you make it,” says Chareria.

For over a year now, Chareria has made a home for herself and her son at B:E’s parenting house. After running away from an unsafe situation, Chareria connected with B:E.

“B:E helped me put a roof over our heads and get us out of a shelter,” Chareria remembers.

At the community home, which Chareria shares with 3 other women and 2 other children, she enjoys gardening with her five year-old son Jeremiah. B:E staff member Shaheda waters the garden with Jeremiah, and with vegetables they grow, Chareria is also learning how to cook healthy meals with Chef Ana, who visits the home to make food with the families.

“For so long I was in the mode of running away. I got used to running away. It was my way to cope and get away from abuse,” says Chareria.

Chareria entered foster care at the age of 12 and has lived in more than 5 homes in 4 different cities. Escaping from abusive situations and learning to take care of herself, Chareria has become a very independent person, grabbing life by the neck and running with her goals.

chareria “I age out of the system next year, so my first priority is to find a stable home for me and Jeremiah,” says Chareria, “and I’m working towards a lot right now.”

Through an internship with New Door Ventures, Chareria is developing her skills in social media and is working towards her goals of finishing high school and having a stable job.

“My long-term goal is to be a social worker and help youth. I really love kids, and I feel like my story will help troubled youth. They’ll know there’s hope out there, and I want to help if I can.”

Chareria tells us about a story she read in the fourth grade that has stuck with her ever since. The child in the story was being abused, and though she read it only once, she points to it as part of the reason why she wants to be a social worker.

“If I had just told one of my social workers that I was being abused, things might’ve been better. So I want to help someone if I can,” says Chareria.

With her son, Chareria is always trying to be a better and even more awesome parent.

“I talk to Jeremiah like he’s smart and has common sense. With my growing up and getting abused, I don’t want my son to be afraid of me. I want him to be comfortable and able to come talk with me.”

Talking with Chareria and learning about how she has come into such wisdom at a young age is a joy. She has a strong sense of who she is, what her goals are, and how to make a home for herself and her son.