LaShawnda and I met while working together at a youth organization in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She’s a young single mother and her daughter, Reign, is a mischievous and independent child with an enormous personality. Reign’s affection doesn’t come easy, however she took a liking to me almost immediately and in short time I was accepted as a member of the family. LaShawnda’s top priority in life is to provide Reign with the best childhood and future she can. LaShawnda’s own childhood was one marked by great challenges. She and her sister grew up living with an aunt whose addictions, faith, and abusive partners dictated the quality of their lives. The girls frequently started one year living in a traphouse on Milwaukee’s north side and later moved northward to Green Bay, Wisconsin. By the beginning of the next year, the girls were living in Milwaukee once again and the cycle repeated. LaShawnda matured quickly in that environment and has now become a mother-figure to two younger sisters and two cousins.
One of LaShawnda’s greatest barriers in providing for Reign is her own health. She suffers from migraine headaches, depression and severe asthma. Despite the challenges in managing her health she finds the strength to work several jobs to eliminate her debts and will soon attend a university with plans to become a legislator to help at-risk youth and those in poverty.