Before I started going to Winning Futures, I always knew that I was going to go to college. That was always a given for me. My mom went to college and my sister is in college. So I knew that for me not to go to college was not an option. Yet I still didn’t know what I wanted to be in life and deep down, I didn’t think college was for me. Looking back now I see I was intimidated by the thought of college.
When I first started going to the sessions, they told me to draw up my long term and short term goals. When I sat down and really thought about what I wanted to do in life, things just fell into place.
During my time in Winning Futures, I lost a relative who was extremely important to me. Without my uncle, my always there motivation, I saw no need to go to college or do anything after graduation because my uncle wouldn’t be there anymore.
I was on such of a downward spiral mentally, that the light no longer shined bright in my eyes”. ” Mr. Howard, noticed I was having a bad day an pulled me to the side. During the next few minutes he would tell me something that I’ll never forget.
“Chloe’, I know you, and I know the light that you possess, you’re only allowed to have one down day because too many people depend on the light in your eyes and your bubbly personality. You can’t withhold that from people.” From that day on, I never revisited that dark time in my life. My Winning Futures family helped me live again.
“In order to establish some goals, I had to think about things that I really loved. I wrote about my love of photography. It just so happened that the volunteer who was my mentor that day shared my passion for photography.”
As previously stated, Shannon and I shared a passion for photography and she owned her own photography business and was looking for extra help. From there, my work at Portrait Services Unlimited began. Sometimes in life, we as people need more than just the family that God gave us. Shannon Givhan-Whitaker and her family embraced me with smiles on their faces, love in their hearts and a loving embrace.
My five year plan is still in effect, yet I have added a few things to my plan. Because my mother needed help in caring for my little brother, I take online classes for now. But in the fall, I will be returning to the classroom setting. I may have had a different kind of start to the rest of my life then I had initially anticipated, but that doesn’t mean that my future isn’t going to be absolutely awesome.
“Believe it or not Winning Futures has helped me land quite a few photography gigs. A little thing called “The Elevator Pitch.” What that means is that whenever I am on a elevator, I start a conversation. You never know who you’re talking to, however, by me explaining my passion and talking about my achievements, I have been able to secure great gigs that no one my age would ever think possible”.
Winnings Futures has changed my life irrevocably. The program opened my eyes to a whole new world that I love being a part of. I came into the program looking for a group of people who were just claiming to care about me and read off a script. Instead I was surrounded by people who had my best interest at heart, and a relationship with those people that will last a life time”.