04 Dec “I felt like I was more than a case.”
Former TeamChild client Jazzmine Lindsey shares her experiences working with TeamChild in Spokane, WA. The team there included Rosey Thurman, Dan Ophardt, and Katherine Fowler.
How would you describe the role that TeamChild has played in your life?
You guys were a huge help with learning how to be an adult. From financial decisions to emotional support—I cried on Katherine’s voicemail more than once.
I was a client for maybe 10 years. My first legal hurdles were being suspended and expelled from school starting when I was 12. Rosey got me back into school. I moved around a lot. My dad was in Texas and my mom was in Michigan. I found myself back in Washington and alone. My living situation was not ideal. I went to JRA for robbery, and because my parents weren’t around I needed Rosey’s help to facilitate my release and get back into the community. I got back into school, but I still didn’t have family support. I needed to work more, so we went through the process of emancipation. That was kind of a “Catch-22,” because you need to prove you can support yourself, so you need to be working more, but you can’t work more until you get emancipated. You need to live somewhere, but no one will rent to you.
By the time I was 17 I was working 40 hours/week, going to school, and getting my GED. I decided I was going to college, and Rosey helped me get my documents together. She was there to help me open my first bank account and get my first apartment. She helped the bank recognize my emancipation so I could cash my check and pay my rent.
Being emancipated prepared me for adulthood, but it was so much harder than I expected. I could have done the emancipation and filled out the forms, but TeamChild had such a role in supporting me. You guys were my village. It was everything after the paperwork that really mattered.
What are some things you’re proud of that you’ve accomplished since working with TeamChild?
I have gotten my GED and my Associates degree, and I’m now a senior majoring in biochem and minoring in teaching. I’m a parent of 2 kids. I’m proud of the fact that TeamChild has let me become aware of myself. I’m an advocate for myself. I speak for myself. If I feel like I’m being treated unfairly I will speak up. I am smart. I matter. I know my resources and my dignity and respect matter.
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