A Bright Beginnings Story
Bright Beginnings mentor Kelley recently reconnected with FamilyWise to share her long-term commitment to Tika, who Kelley began mentoring a decade ago. Once Kelley was matched with Tika, then in her third trimester, the pair built trust over time, leading up to the birth of Tika’s daughter Imahni. Kelley was able to coach Tika through a number of positive parenting moments, including setting up Imahni with dental care, doing healthy, cost-effective grocery shopping, and encouraging Tika to get involved at Imahni’s school.
Over time, Kelley says, the pair built a relationship that made them feel like “extended family members.” While the Bright Beginnings program technically lasts a year, Kelley, Tika, and Imahni’s bond is now going on 10. Today, Tika has a steady job and she and Imahni live in their own apartment, which Kelley recently visited to celebrate Imahni turning nine. “I really care about Tika being successful and taking care of herself because when she takes care of herself, she takes care of her baby. She’s had a lot of challenges, but she’s overcome them.”