A new beginning

Nicole Daughhetee

Nicole Daughhetee

Life As I Know It

By Nicole Daughhetee

I have a new job and I absolutely love it! Before I go any further, however, rest assured that I have no intentions of leaving the Courier, as I love wearing the writer’s hat too. The combination of both jobs is what I need to be able to pay my bills. That is simply the fact of the matter.

Two weeks ago I started at the Parenting Place in Pickens County. We are a non-profit organization on a mission to prevent child abuse in our community. Did you know that Pickens County is ranked No. 1 in the state of South Carolina for cases of child abuse and neglect? Startling sad. But true.

Many of my readers know that I have struggled to find work. I sent out resumes and received no response and then, voila, I had the most amazing answer to prayer and find myself in a job that is so well-suited to my personality that it cannot be a coincidence that I am here.

We work with teen moms who are first-time mothers. Ideally, we get them when they are pregnant so we can work with them during their pregnancy — providing them resources and support — to be nurturing, empathetic and successful parents. The Parenting Place also offers a program designed specifically for dads, because they need the education and information too.

Growing up without an active father in my life, I believe, laid the foundation and gave me a heart to work with others. There was a huge period of time in my life when I felt unlovable or unworthy of love because I didn’t get it from my Dad in the way I so desperately wanted and needed it; because of this I can understand how easy it is for young girls to equate sex with love even though they are two completely different things.

The sad part is, of course, is that it is so easy for outsiders to stand back in judgment of the choices others make. I’m thankful that my mom always reminded me that you cannot judge another person until you’ve walked a mile in his or her shoes. None of us knows what anyone else has gone through, and I am finding that in their short lives, some of these girls have been through hell and back.

As a community we should care about the people in our area that need help and support. In my mind, that is what community is all about. And if one were to really take the time to analyze the costs associated with child abuse and neglect, teen pregnancy or domestic violence, even the least of financial geniuses could see how not caring about people and issues impacts Pickens County as a whole.

I am beyond elated to be part of The Parenting Place because I feel like I am doing something with my life that can make a positive impact in the lives of others and in our community as a whole. I truly believe that God gave me a heart for people, and my mom nurtured that gift as I grew and developed.

I’ve always enjoyed Ghandi’s quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I am so blessed to be able to be the change — to give back to others. I love being so filled with hope and the thoughts of limitless possibilities just around the corner.

Life, as I know it now, is truly amazing.