2013 Imagine Award Honoree Victoria Cabell
Victoria was a bright, pretty, athletic girl with big dreams for her future. Becoming a mother at 16 was not part of the plan.
Her pregnancy was surprising and scary. She worried about how she would be able to take care of a baby and get her school work done. She knew she wouldn’t be able to do what her friends were doing anymore. She would need money for diapers and milk instead of clothes and movies. Most of all, she worried about how her mom would react when she found out.
Victoria enrolled in CHiP as a new mom at 16, but didn’t immediately avail herself of all CHiP had to offer. She leaned on various family members for support, moving around a lot. Eventually, she dropped out of sight and her case was closed in 2005. In 2010, Victoria was expecting again. This time she referred herself to CHiP and got on the waiting list for services.
Victoria showed a lot of determination to improve her circumstances in those in-between years. She graduated from high school, became a CNA, and began to independently support herself and her child. While living in public housing, she never gave up on her vision of having her own home. She applied and was accepted for a Habitat house, and worked hard to make that dream a reality.
In 2010, Victoria got pregnant again. This time, the family safety net she had during her teen years had come unraveled, and she found herself in need of some support. Part of growing older and wiser is understanding when and who to ask for help. This time around, Victoria made the most of the relationship she had with her CHiP workers. She has remained positive and persistent in her aspiration to continually improve as a mother and as role model for her girls.
Victoria is now working as a pharmacy technician at UVA, has completed classes to become an EMT, and hopes one day to attend nursing school. She is always striving to learn more about parenting and child development, and her success is evident in her happy, thriving children. Victoria recently was approved to be foster parent and hopes to open her heart and her home to a foster child soon. There is no doubt Victoria will be a success at anything she sets her mind to.