“I didn’t have an easy start in life… My parents separated when I was young, and it was a very challenging time for my mother. I didn’t have anyone to guide me through my teenage years, so I thought I would go and figure life out myself. At 18 I fell pregnant. I was young and lost. I don’t think you can ever be fully prepared to have a child at any stage of your life, and I was definitely not prepared when I brought her home from the hospital. I remember when I was alone in the house with her for the first time. I took her to the bathroom with me while I tried to take a shower. I remember her looking at me and the moment when all the responsibility for this tiny human hit me. It wasn’t easy, but I used her as a catalyst to improve our lives, and I was lucky to have support to help along the way. My only goal was to become someone for her to look up to, someone I never had. I was lucky to get a job with Coca-Cola HBC as a receptionist and I was able to grow with the company. They saw that I was dedicated and ready to learn and they were willing to invest in my development. I worked hard and when I was 23 I was able to save up for a mortgage. Over the years, I was able to move up with multiple positions. Now I manage a team of 14, and I am doing a part-time degree in Business Project Management with their support. My daughter is only a year younger now than when I had her… It’s crazy to think about it… I got involved in the Youth Empowered programme at Coca-Cola HBC because I realised that there is a big demand for role models out there and I am hoping that by sharing my story I will help someone in a similar situation where I was. My advice is that it doesn’t matter what your background or circumstances are; how you let it affect your life is up to you.”
This post was highlighted by Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland. Find out more about their #YouthEmpowered programme and further job opportunities HERE!