Sunday, July 27, 2003

An 'angel' teaches mom to raise son

Andrienne Spradlin, Clermont County: "I was pregnant when I was 20 years old. I was scared as anyone is her first time, until I met Pam from "Help Me Grow" (provided by YWCA in Clermont County through "Every Child Succeeds" program). I guess you could say she was my angel. She was a constant support through my pregnancy, baby blues, illnesses and bouts of violence with my now ex-boyfriend.

"She gave me food when I had none and church numbers to call when I needed rent money. Pam gave me love and support when I needed it most. The greatest thing she gave me was knowledge at a time when I had little. I was just starting out in the world.

"My son Hayden is now 15 months old and smart as a whip. I have worked so hard with him, using the tools Pam taught me. I read all the worksheets she brings to me. She goes to classes and comes back to teach me how to teach Hayden.

"Parents are not born, we are taught. Kids are not born with instruction manuals. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I have someone as special and dedicated as Pam to weather the storms with. She was my lighthouse, the one who got me back on track, back to reality. She is my coach through everything. If it had not been for Pam and Help Me Grow, I know that I would be in far worse shape. Hayden and I would not be where we are today: alive and healthy."


(Spradlin has completed her first quarter of college at UC's Clermont County branch)

For information on Every Child Succeeds, call (513) 636-2830 or on-line (www.everychildsucceeds.com)

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