Hi everyone. My name is Mikel and I have had the privilege of being a part of Mom’s House for two years.

I look back on what brought me here and feel very grateful for the help I have received from this program. Right after high school, I wanted to get married, buy a house, have a child and live happily ever after; you can tell I was naive. None of this went as planned.

Very soon after marrying, I divorced, was laid off from my job of eight years, and struggling as a single parent trying to raise my son and daughter. I had been thinking about going to college for a few years but wasn’t sure how I could make it all work.

It was then that my own mom reminded me of Mom’s House. I made an appointment and learned about the program and what was required of the parents who enrolled. I took a tour of the facility and was amazed at what I saw. I thought it was the best place and was so excited for my daughter to go there. My son was of school age by this time. I was also thrilled to learn that part of the program included a required three hours of service time at Mom’s House per week. In a sense, I was able to volunteer for a non-profit organization, something I had always wanted to do.

I have been attending Broome Community College since 2009 and Baleigh has been at Mom’s House during this time. Mom’s House has been wonderful for my daughter Baleigh and me in so many ways. The teachers are great, adjusting to and handling each child’s individual personalities while encouraging them to be who they are, and for Baleigh, that would be persistent and independent. She has learned probably two of the life’s biggest lessons at Mom’s House: friendship and empathy. She has learned that bugs are cool, that you can paint with more things than just a brush…I could go on and on

When I talk about Mom’s House to other people, my mantra is “She leaves me, I don’t leave her”. To find a daycare your child is excited to go to everyday, to ask about it during the summer or winter breaks, even weekends, to not want to leave even after they have been there from 7:30 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon, is incredible! For me, Mom’s House has been a blessing because the teachers, administrative staff, and volunteers are just as supportive, understanding, encouraging, and good at listening to the parents as they are the children. Many times, there has been someone that would help me with a concern I had, whether it was about my daughter, myself, or my son, and they offered advice, wisdom, or compassion; usually all three.

I want to thank everyone at Mom’s House for all of the support and encouragement you gave to not just Baleigh and me but to all of the parents and children who come through your doors. Your dedication and hard work is appreciated more than words can say. Thank you! ~Mikel