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Olivia’s Story

Olivia’s  vibrant and positive personality is contagious, and gives some insight into the inner strength that has carried her through some challenging times in her life. Born and raised in Garfield Park, she had a stable family life, until age 17, when her mother passed away. At 23, she lost her job, apartment, and was pregnant.

She found shelter at Breakthrough Urban Ministries, and was introduced to New Moms’ family support and job training programs during her stay. She immediately recognized the serious need for New Moms in her life and in the community.

Olivia became a participant at New Moms and was matched with a doula. When her doula left on maternity leave, Luecendia Reed, our Assistant Director of Family Support Programs, stepped in and was by Olivia’s side for the birth of her daughter, Giselle. Luecendia remembers Olivia “was always an advocate for herself,” and “was a bright light in the group.” After Olivia finished her time in the Family Support and Job Training programs, an Outreach Specialist position became available at New Moms. Luecendia knew she’d be the perfect fit and encouraged Olivia to apply. She got the job! After serving Olivia during her time as a participant, Luecendia is now Olivia’s supervisor. It’s no surprise that they have a special bond. Luecendia says Olivia is “always willing to learn and wanting to do her best in each role,” and has thrived at New Moms.

Olivia hopes her story can help someone else going through a similar difficult situation. She credits New Moms with giving her tremendous room for growth—spiritually, professionally, and in parenting—and hopes to inspire that in the young moms she serves. Olivia hopes to return to college and receive her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees —“I need my daughter to see me succeed so she can feel comfortable succeeding” as an African American woman in the workplace. Olivia truly makes an impact on everyone she meets and is an incomparable member of the New Moms family.