Yasmine joined Alyn Vaughn through our partnership with Nashville YoungLives, a local ministry for teen moms. In addition to being a dedicated mom to Baby Charles, she recently acquired her GED through Begin Anew and hopes to continue her education in the area cosmetology.
Career Goal: Become a Licensed Cosmetologist
Alyn Vaughn Apprenticeship Focus: Product Lead for Retail and Wholesale, Life Skills
Being homeless, a teen mom, and a high school drop-out, it’s been important for Yasmine to make short-term goals and learn how follow through is the key to success. Our strategy was to not overwhelm her with a long laundry list or judge her, but rather build trust slowly and teach her step by step how to take charge of her life and be her own best cheerleader. At her Alyn Vaughn interview, I advised she had 48 hours (“5:00 pm on Thursday”) to enroll herself in a GED program. Yasmine, along with her mentors at YoungLives, jumped into action. Thursday morning way in advance of 5:00 pm, I received a call from Yasmine that she, in fact, was registered at Begin Anew, a GED program. That following week she was attending school Monday and Thursday evenings with her son Baby Charles on her hip. Eight months later Yasmine passed the 5th and final exam and on December 8th, 2018, she walked across the stage wearing a cap and gown full of confidence to receive her high school equivalency diploma. I couldn’t be there because I was on the road sharing the importance of our mission.
While Yasmine was attending school her mind would often jump forward to acquiring her driver’s license. Excitement to get ‘caught up’ would sometimes get the best of her. I would remind her to relax and focus on school. “One thing at a time, Yas. One thing at a time.”
Soon after passing her final exam, I had her enrolled in driver’s ed. She couldn’t believe she was taking another big step in life. I was on the road working an event while she was learning to drive. I remember crying when she called to say “I passed the practice test!” I actually screamed out loud “SHE PASSED!!!” as there were customers in our booth having no idea what I was talking about.
When she went to take the actual written test, she failed. Instead of being completely deflated, she called me to say “Nancy, I need to slow down.” That was a huge life skill moment for Yas! PROGRESS! I reminded her again to relax and focus on school - study. Two weeks later she passed her written and practical driving tests. The following week on the day before Thanksgiving I was off the road and able to take her to the DMV to get photographed for her driver’s license. On the drive home, she said, “I’m so grateful I said YES to Alyn Vaughn.” We could not be more proud of her and hope her light continues to shine as a reminder that ‘it’s possible.’
Fun Fact: The teachers at Begin Anew said they had never had a student so academically bright as Yasmine. She blew through the program in six months, when it took other students a year or longer to complete.