Shante: Basically, I was a spoiled child. I was the only girl with 7 brothers. When I was growing up, I’d get things by running to mommy and daddy and because I was the only girl, I’d usually get them.

But, when I found my mom deceased, in her bed, January the 8th of 2011, that’s when a “fuck it” attitude just came over me. I was just like, OK, I’m super woman. I can do anything I want to do. 

I went to prison twice for selling drugs. My dad passed away 4 days after I got out of prison, the second time. 

After that I didn’t have anyone but my brothers and my 10 year old son. 

BW: Sounds like a lot happened pretty quick. What are your hopes for the future?

Shante: Honestly, I have two years of college. I’m a licensed massage therapist. I’m going back to school starting January the 7th for business management.

BW: Have you ever had a job as a massage therapist?

Shante: Yeah. At a nursing home. It was like massage therapy and rehabilitation. 

BW: Would you like to do that again?

Shante: Yeah, I’d like to open up my own business doing massage therapy. But… I think… I don’t want to do old people anymore. Some of them old people are, like, freaks. 

BW:  *laughing* How are they freaks?

Shante: Because! Some of them old guys want you to touch them in places… you know what I’m sayin’?

Ela (2nd Meeting)

Ela (2nd Meeting)