Written By: April Roberts
Never Give Up by April Roberts
Have you ever taken one step forward just to be knocked two steps backward? Well, I have – plenty of times. My name is April Roberts and my message to you is never give up in life, no matter how hard life may seem.
Growing up, I thought I had my life all figured out. I always knew I wanted to go to college and be successful. My parents had amazing jobs and gave me everything I could ever dream of. My parents were also strict, but now that I’m older, I realize how thankful I am that they were. I was also enrolled in honors classes and always made good grades. Life was great and I was headed down the right path.
At 17 years old, I received the phone call that turned my whole life upside down. I had lost my best friend, my motivator, and my everything: my mama. She passed away, and my life changed drastically. I made “friends” that weren’t really my friends and I even dropped out of school in eleventh grade. Can you believe that? I did decide to go back the next year because I knew that’s what my mama would’ve wanted. I ended up doubling up on my classes and was still able to graduate with my class. Then, I started going to college in the fall.
After completing my first college semester, I thought I was back on the right track. But during my second semester, I dropped out. I really didn’t have any motivation. All I cared about was hanging out with my “friends.” I tried going back to college not once, not twice, but four times over the period of two years. And all I got out of it was student loan debt.
At 20 years old, I found out I was pregnant with my son and I was extremely happy! But little did I know, my life was about to turn into a nightmare for eight long months. Did you know about one in five women experience abuse when they become pregnant? I was one of them. At this point, I felt like I had given up on everything. I honestly didn’t think I would ever meet my son, much less see another day. I was living a nightmare, but I couldn’t get away or wake up from it. I never wish harm on anyone, but when I was eight months pregnant and the person hurting me was caught by the police, I finally felt free. I could not believe that I had made it through so much physical and mental abuse.
After having my son, I realized I had to leave so many things in the past – even my so called “friends.” I took a six-week class to become a certified nursing assistant, and started working in home health care. Although I went to college and got my certificate, I really didn’t make a lot of money. We had a roof over our heads, but we were still living pay check to pay check.
One year went by and I realized it was time for a few changes. I heard about Red Ventures through a friend, so I started working in the cafeteria and making a little more money. Every day I went to work and said to myself, “I wanna be on the other side. The sales side.” I talked to Chandler Martin, Director of Road to Hire, whenever he came to the cafeteria to get his soup. He told me about the program, and the same day I went home and applied. I was very skeptical, but I knew I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The Road to Hire program was the best decision I had ever made because it turned my whole life around. Not only did I learn about the sales process, but I also learned all about professional development. It helped me grow so much as a person. When I graduated the program, I was 39 weeks pregnant with my daughter. It wasn’t easy by any means. When I’d walk or stand up, I was out of breath and my feet would swell up. I could’ve been at home just like any other woman would be that far along in her pregnancy, but I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. I kept on pushing and never gave up. I also had some amazing peers and leaders that stood behind me and pushed me to be successful.
I have now been a Red Ventures employee for one year and two months. Within my first year at Red Ventures, I became debt free from student loans. Both of my kids have everything they could ask for and more, and I’m able to save money for them for when they grow up. We’re no longer in an apartment – we have our own home! I finally feel successful and it’s all because of taking a chance with Road to Hire. My challenge to you is to never give up in life, no matter how many times you get pushed back. Sometimes things don’t happen our way or on our time, but that should never stop you from achieving your goals.