Raising HOPE

“It’s Not What You Have; It’s How You Put It Together!”

Takiesha Swift is a woman on the move.  With the help of Raising HOPE, she is attending Ulster BOCES Cosmetology Program, working on her GED (Graduate Equivalency Program), and taking driving lessons!  Takiesha has big plans – to open a beauty shop some day – and to make people beautiful.  Her motto is, “It’s not what you have, it’s how you put it together!”, and Takiesha is certainly an example of that.

Growing up, Takiesha had no role models she could count on, who could guide her, and show her the way.  She was born into a family that simply couldn’t take care of her.  And so, she has spent the majority of her 27 years fending for herself.  Her Raising HOPE mentor,  Ujjala Schwartz, was the first person to give her a book that might interest her and advice that was useful.  In her weekly meetings with Ujjala, her self-confidence and conviction were nurtured with talk of the future, what could be, and how to get there.  Together, Ujjala and Takiesha formulated a plan to give Takiesha what she’d always dreamed of – a life free from abuse and filled with hope, optimism, and achievement.  She is well on her way.

To learn more about Takiesha, and her path to self-sufficiency, and self-fulfillment, check out the video here.

For more information on the women’s mentoring program, visit the Raising HOPE website.