Janet Brukner - 2018 Blessons Scholarship Award Recipient

I reside in Chicago & am a single mother with 2 sons a 23 year old & 4 year old. I currently attend a 4 year community college named Harold Washington. Yes, I did graduate from Northwestern College in 2002. I am currently employed as a Legal Assistant contractor for CTA Headquarters, it's actually through an agency that got me the job. I think I see myself in the future as a successful woman who enjoys working in the legal field.

I am a true survivor of physical and emotional abuse. No I have not seek or been to any counseling / therapy because I felt ashamed of what happened to me. No my oldest son has not been in counseling or therapy because I actually don't think he needs it as I have been the one that was a victim of the different abuse that happened to me. Yes I and my children live away from the abuser as we moved from home to home until we settled in with my mom in her 1 bedroom apartment.

I definitely believe strongly that your Blessons Scholarship Awards recipients who did survive any type of abuse should be a participant in the mentorship program, because I think it will influence and make them stronger than ever in life.

I am not a 1st time generation female immigrant in the U.S. I am though the first in my mom's family who are in the Phillipines to go and graduate from High-School and College. Yes I do take care of my family which are my mom, my 2 sons, even though my oldest son works and is in College too but me as daughter and mother I have to take care of my family no matter what the situation becomes. No I have not taken advantage of any resources for scholarships but I just recently applied for the Blessons Scholarship. As for Grants yes I have applied while I attended Northwestern College, but have exceeded any types of loans.

My education was indeed put on hold because of my low self esteem that I had because of the abuse I endured through my lifetime. I became severely depressed that I was prescribed anti-depressants. But honestly I am learning how to control my depression without any anti-depressants. I continued my education through attending a Business College to achieved a degree in the legal field. I was 25 years old when I got my Associates degree, it actually took me 3 1/2 years to complete my courses because I was going full time to part time as I was a single mother and was working a full time job. I actually was going to give up on my education because I didn't think I could afford it until I got this temporary job and realized I needed and wanted to attend school.

I actually stay and keep positive because of my kids. My children are my world and life of course and they cannot or will not see me be negative on things because that is not how I want them to know how there mom is. Even though I been through hell and back, my oldest always tells me, "Mom, you are a strong will woman because of what you been through, you are definitely a survivor!" I would say I look up to my mom but honestly I would be lying to you. There isn't any woman that I can look up too. Yes I do relate the missions that Blessons empower us women through us pursuing our dreams in the education we deserve and want.

The only advice I can give to any women who may have similar Blessons Stories like mine is to not keep anything inside. Just to make sure if something happens in any type of abuse, please seek help. I wish I would of done that before but I know deep down I can still get the counseling and therapy if I choose too. I think it would be an honor to share my story with more women, knowing I am the voice of a woman who is afraid to speak about there abusive experience.