Single Mother’s Journey From Being On Welfare To Becoming An ER Doctor.

Being a single mom can be a tough task. Just ask any one of them. But some will rise above all the downsides and come out winners. Here are 9 stories of making the single-mom life work.

1. Amanda Lamond-Holden was 18 and a freshman in college when she got pregnant, so she started relying on welfare to get her and her young son through. But ever since she was 16, she knew she wanted to be a doctor.

So she spent the next several years working hard and making sacrifices, and now, that’s all paying off, since she completed her residency program and became the attending emergency room physician at a hospital in San Diego.

Says Amanda: “No matter what people tell you, you CAN make your dreams come true.”


2. She was 16 and just gave birth was kicked out of school because of all her absences. And her family and community pretty much looked upon her as an outcast. But soon, she was able to get a job as a receptionist at a tax company, and she actually learned how to do taxes, and even became an associate.

Then, she was offered a job that, even though it paid less, offered her tremendous responsibilities over accounts payable, receivable and everything else. And after about 6 months, the controller there left, and she took his position. But she could not claim the controller title because she had no college degree.

So she even worked harder over the next few months to earn a college degree and make her title official. Not bad for a young girl that was once written off by everyone.


3. Cathy Lanier was 14 when she got pregnant. A year later, she dropped out of high school. But a few years later, she joined the police department in the District of Columbia. She also earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

In 2007, she was named police chief of the police department before retiring in 2016. She is now senior vice president of security for the National Football League.


4. Kelly Lewis was 29, divorced and left with three children to take care of. There were career setbacks and she was struggling with depression. She wanted very much to turn her life around, so she decided to do it with her bare hands.

She bought herself some land and, after doing some research on the tiny house movement, which she was fascinated with, she wanted to build a tiny home and pretty much live off the grid. So she did.

She built a 192-square-foot home and suddenly, all the things that were important to her, like family bonding, came clearly into focus. And, once again, her life was good.


5. Lindsay Beckman, a single mom raising two young daughters, wanted more out of life than being a receptionist at a pest control company in Elgin, Illinois.

She was 26 and she wanted a degree. And she wanted it yesterday. So she took the 8-month fast-track program at Computer Systems Institute and was able to land a job at Northwest Suburban Urology Associates.

Now, she makes 3 to 4 times more than she did at her old job.


6. Christina Knaack, a single mom of two, was making minimum wage at her job in Gaffney, South Carolina. But, she got a nice tax refund of $5,600. Now, what do you think she did with it? A new car? Some new clothes? Cool stuff for her kids? A nice vacation maybe? No.

She used $5400 to pay for the entire year’s rent. That’s right. Rent. She did this, she said, because she knows how important it is to not have to worry about having a roof over your kids’ heads.


7. Maria Ortega was born in Mexico in 1994, and her family moved to Green Bay when she was 3. Learning the English language was difficult for her in school, and she had to be held back in kindergarten because of it. Through most of her time in school, she stayed quiet.

In her sophomore year of high school, she got pregnant and she joined the Teenage Parent Program for help. And through this program, quiet Maria found her voice and started advocating for other students.

After high school, she went to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and graduated. Now, Maria, who has a young daughter, returns to the school a few times a year to talk to students in the program.


8. Before Doina Oncel immigrated to Canada, she had a partner who would blow all the money they had on alcohol and he started abusing her. She got tired of the abuse, called the cops, took her kids and left.

When she moved to Canada, she found a new partner who was great, and together they started a renovation business and started landing some pretty big contracts. Now she has money, can take care of her kids… and no abuse. She has found the life she always wanted.


9. In central China, Li Shaoyun has spent nighttimes over the last three years driving a taxi to make ends meet. And she takes her three-year-old daughter Yiyi on every one of her runs.

Li estimates she has spent about 900 nights with her little girl and all the strangers she picks up to take to various destinations. She does this because she cannot afford a babysitter.

She drives the taxi from dusk till 5 a.m. and Yiyi almost always sits in the front seat with her. Li makes only about $15 a day and may not quite have “made it” yet, but she’s definitely making it work with her daughter.

And the bonding between this mother and daughter is tremendous.


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