Milton, MA – Shemika H. and resident Kelly Beckett may come from different backgrounds, but this spring they are both taking steps to reach their goals. And while they may never meet, they are supporting each other on this journey.
Shemika carries the scars of a young life filled with struggle and pain. She’s trying to move on and forgive, but her past is clouded even though her future seems clear.
From the age of 2 until she left at 19 years old, Shemika lived the life of a foster child, and the older she became, the more heartbreaking truths she discovered about her life and her family. Now older with two children of her own, she needed employment so she could support her family. Shemika became involved with Project Hope through the adult education classes in 2012. Here, she hoped to earn her GED so that she could move on to college to prepare for her dream of becoming a children’s services worker.
She attributes some of her personal growth to Project Hope. “I don’t want to say I was a shy person, but in crowds of people, I didn’t like to be pinpointed, but now I speak out and don’t mind sharing my story and what I’ve been through. I owe that to Project Hope because being here has helped me see a lot of the stuff I was going through and then fix it.”
Project Hope and her children have been positive influences in her life, and she says she’s able to push forward with the help of her children. Shemika and her two children lived in a shelter in 2011, and she says her proudest moment occurred when she and her children left the shelter and moved into their own apartment.
This year Kelly Beckett will line up in Hopkinton to run the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21, as part of Project Hope’s marathon team. The 2014 Project Hope Marathon Team is 52 runners strong from all over the country. The team has run and raised an impressive amount of miles and dollars to-date. They have their sights on exceeding the team’s goal of $250,000 by Marathon Monday.
Article written by Laura Vincent, development associate for Project Hope