Sherepha Edwards – ready to chase her dream
Rural Xpress caught up with 22-year-old Sherepha Edwards, who, a few weeks ago, copped the awards for most outstanding (student) in English, demonstration of leadership, and was selected as the valedictorian of the Four Paths Youth Development workshop Free to Dream.
Wearing a bright smile, and exuding confidence, her story could almost be mistaken
for fiction as she opened up about her experience with the programme.
Edwards said a family member told her about the workshop, but she wasn't really sure she wanted to be part of it.
"I wasn't really ready. I kept asking myself if it made sense," she said.
The first day of class, Edwards went to the church where the workshop was being held with her baby by her side.
Not expecting to do anything more than "check it out", she ended up spending the entire day.
what she wants
From September until the workshop concluded in early December, she would be there, although there were days when she thought about "throwing in the towel".
On Tuesdays, with no babysitter for her nine-month old child, she would take the baby with her to class.
It was the norm for her cell phone to ring during classtime with enquiries as to who would be picking up her other two children from school.
"I don't know how I kept my focus. Whatever thoughts of quitting that crossed my mind were replaced by friends who motivated me, plus I really like to push for what I want," she said.
A past student of Denbigh High School, Edwards had dreams of becoming a paediatrician but early pregnancy forced her to put those dreams on hold.
According to Edwards, the workshop was a godsend. She is now fired up and ready to start going after her dream once again.
First on her agenda is trying to get into the army, where she said the road would be much easier in realising her ambition of becoming a paediatrician.
Reaching out to fellow youth like herself, she said falling
is not failure, but not getting up and trying again is the problem.
"No matter what challenges you have in life, just persevere and be strong. Forget negativity. If you fall, don't stay down. Pick yourself up, brush off, and get back on top."