Nov 04Jasmine’s Story
“You’re supposed to graduate high school, graduate college, start your career, have a business, have a home, all by 30. And, if you can do that by 30, I’m not envious, like, that’s good. I wish I could’ve done that, but everybody’s situation is different. I try not to tell myself, ‘You better have this. You better do that.’ Everything takes time. You just have to work toward that. It’ll come.”
Jasmine, 27, has always been a productive and goal-driven person. “I like to get up. I like to get ready for school. I like to do my homework on time. I like to help others.” As a mother of three, Jasmine expertly juggles raising a family at her Batavia Apartments home while pursuing her cosmetology license. “I’ve always had a passion for doing hair and makeup. I don’t know if that’s going to be my sole purpose or if I want to do that for the rest of my life, but I want to get my license and see how it works out for me.” With the support of her family and Ms. Lynn—a cherished Resident Services coordinator—Jasmine nurtures and cares for her three wonderful children while navigating parenting and life’s other challenges.
Amariay, 8, is Jasmine’s eldest child and only daughter. “She’s my oldest, so we’ve been through a lot together. She saw me grow up.” Amariay is incredibly adventurous and kind to every person she meets. “She’s one of those children that think everybody’s her friend.” This past school year, Amariay graduated from a reading club, an accomplishment her family is very proud of. As she prepares to enter the third grade, she is ecstatic to continue reading and learning science—her two favorite subjects. During the academic year, Amariay participates in the Out-of-School Time programming at Batavia Apartments daily. “She’s a really sweet and helpful kid,” Jasmine says, “She really loves her brothers.” Amariay’s love for her mother and brothers knows no bounds, no matter how much trouble her brothers give her.
While Markeem, 4, is shy around adults, he loves acting up and giving his siblings a hard time. “He has that little brother mentality,” Jasmine describes her son, “he likes messing with his sister.” While this behavior may be typical of boys his age, his appetite, Jasmine finds, is not. “He has a grown appetite already, so I have to get ready for when he gets older,” she expresses, “he’ll tell me, ‘I’m still hungry, I’m still hungry,’ and I’m like, ‘You eat more than me.’” Markeem loves chips and chocolate, but he loves his family even more. “Him and his brother have a nice relationship. They do fight sometimes, but they always somehow find their way back to each other,” Jasmine notes. Markeem is very attached to his mother and loves to spend time with her, often asking, ‘Mommy, are you okay?’ truly making him his “mama’s boy.” Like his sister, Markeem is gearing up for the school year as he begins preschool.
Jasmine had her youngest child, Cartier, 2, shortly after moving to Batavia Apartments in 2020. “He’s very active and wild—a handful,” Jasmine describes, “but he’s really smart for his age—he knows how to count and knows his ABCs.” Cartier is also quite proficient in technology, being capable of dialing people on his own and looking up music videos online. “He tries to do things on his own,” Jasmine comments. One of the things Cartier enjoys doing more than his siblings, or most children for that matter, is cleaning. “He’ll pick up a broom or a mop and wipe things down himself,” Jasmine remarks.
Resident Service Coordinator Ms. Lynn
Earlier this year, Jasmine was in a serious accident. “When I tap into my memories, it was the worst time of my life; it hurt more than childbirth. It was the worst pain I ever felt and will probably ever feel. I try not to think too much back, but I probably should start so I can be more grateful for where I am now.” Fortunately, with her brother helping while she was on bed rest, and her boyfriend driving her children around, Jasmine could get back on her feet after months of recovery and complete physical therapy. “I’m just happy to still be here. Good thing I had my brother and boyfriend at my side—and, of course, the kids.”
Batavia Apartments Resident Services Coordinator Ms. Lynn is another strong part of Jasmine’s support system. “Ms. Lynn was there for me [after my injury]. She used to come over and bring me activities to do with the kids and little snacks and stuff. We’d talk on the phone and everything. I’d talk to Ms. Lynn, and she’d ask, ‘How are you doing?’ She’s just so understanding. You can tell that she cares.”
Having Ms. Lynn is just one of the great things about life at Batavia for Jasmine. “They have a garden out here, and they give you seeds and your own little area for you to plant. I love that they have that,” Jasmine mention shares. Batavia Apartments often holds raffles and giveaways, where they hand out essential household products and items for the kids, such as bikes and school supplies. “I like that my kids go out and play with the other kids at the park right here. My kids call them their best friends.”
A Bright Future
This is Jasmine’s first time living in an apartment complex. She grew up in Chicago, where she recalls only a few houses on the block. “I remember when I got approved for my apartment out here, and I was so excited and happy. I was living with somebody else with my kids, and I was pregnant, so I was just hoping and wishing and hoping every day that I could move into an apartment,” Jasmine remembers. Thankfully, she didn’t have to wait long, receiving a call and moving in shortly after. “I moved in like a month. It was all so nice. I like living out here.”
Jasmine is determined to set a good example for her children and give them the best life possible. Despite her challenges, Jasmine is resilient and has always gotten back on her feet and pressed forward. “I’m not going to lie—it’s hard. My injuries set me back a lot. I still can’t do some of the things I used to do…It holds me back, but I always try to focus on the big picture: my parents didn’t go to college, they don’t have careers, and they don’t have houses of their own. I want my kids to have that ongoing support when they get older…I like to get up. I like being a mom. I like being there for my kids. I like giving them guidance and taking care of them.”
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