Archive for August, 2010

Latasha: Single mom juggles work, school and dreams

With a toddler son to care for, Latasha worked a succession of minimum wage jobs before she came to YouthBuild Newark. PHOTOS BY AKINTOLA HANIF.

YouthBuild Newark student Latasha longs to live in a place where her son can ride his bike. 

So for the past year, Latasha and Faheem rose at dawn to catch the bus to daycare before her YouthBuild Newark school day began at 8 a.m. 

At 4 p.m., she hopped three buses to her job as a Pathmark cashier, which didn’t end until 11:30. Relatives helped take care of Faheem, her three-year-old, but sometimes he cried for her to stay. Latasha felt a pang of guilt, knowing she wouldn’t see him until the next day. 

“It was hard. I wanted to stay home. But I had to do what I had to do because I knew it would better him in the long run,” says Latasha, who is 23. “I came here because I wanted to be his role model. I can’t tell him finish school if I didn’t. That would be hypocritical.”
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