October 25, 2021

INFO 10

THE TRUTH IN BLACK AND WHITE

‘Being a teenage mom, school dropout is not the end of the world’

…The life story of Ariel Persaud who celebrates her 22 birthday today

By Solomon McGarrell

Ariel Persaud and her daughter

As life unfolds, there are pages we turn without having a clue what the story on the upcoming page is. Whatever the narrative, whether good or bad, the decision on how to deal with it completely lies on us.
This is evident in the life of Ariel Persaud, who celebrates her 22nd birthday today (September 24th).
Persaud got pregnant at the tender age of 15 and was forced to leave school. While being hurt to some extent in having to cut ties with her school life, she finds her daughter to be a blessing rather than a disappointment.
The young mother said the journey would have been difficult without the support of family members.
“I was only sixteen when my daughter was born and it turned out to be one of the best things that happen to me.
Becoming a mother so young wasn’t as hard on me as it would have been, if I did not have the love and support from my family,” the young mother told INFO during an interview.

Subsequent to giving birth to her bouncing baby girl, she quickly picked herself up and made strenuous efforts to complete her secondary education but it was somewhat challenging since she struggled mentally with the thought of her daughter being raised by others.
“I was not raised by my parents in my early childhood and it was not until later in my childhood that they came into my life. Because of this, I made an oath that this will not be the relationship I have with my daughter. I made a commitment that it will always be me and my daughter no matter what life throws at me.
There were times I wanted to leave to further my education, since I had to leave high school when I got pregnant. I had to make a choice whether to leave my daughter with someone or make sure I was with her all the time. I made sure my daughter was with me, my faith will not be hers as long as I am alive,” Persaud said

The young mother added that while efforts were made to sit the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), unfortunately, she was unable to stand the expenses due to situations beyond her control.
“I made efforts to go back to school to gain CSEC subjects, unfortunately it was time for me to pay to write the exams, some unforeseen circumstances came up and I had to stop all my efforts in that direction,” she said.

Persaud was crushed knowing all of her efforts and sacrifices made went down the drain, however, she refused to let that hinder her. “The mindset I have, I knew I had to continue pushing on, so I secured a job at a pharmacy and worked there for about two and a half years.
I then started working at a call center and luckily, they were offering free online classes. I took the opportunity and did a business management course. This was added to the cosmetology course, which I did at the age of 14,”she said.

Persaud then ended her stint at the call centre and returned to her hometown Kwakwani with family members. That short time was extended as a result of the 2020 election impasse and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I decided I would stay awhile longer in Kwakwani before I return to the city; Kwakwani was the safest place for me and my child to be for the time being,” Persaud said.

Ariel Persaud

She explained that life back in her hometown was not an easy road but it’s where she got her breakthrough in life, which allowed her to become the woman she is destined to become.

“I had gotten a piece of land which I wanted to sell so badly, but it must have been God that changed my mind from doing so. I was encouraged to build a house, something I did not want to do because I did not have plans on moving back to Kwakwani.
I had no idea how I was going to do it, but I was blessed with a great kick start which I’m truly thankful for. I started getting help and that was truly the work of God,” Persaud explained.

“My sister helped me to start a business and I made and sold Icicles. I would walk and sell them in the community and every day I was sold out.
God really makes a way when it seems like there was no way. I even sold eggs, but the Icicle business was much more lucrative, so I stopped selling eggs to concentrate on selling Icicles,” Persaud revealed.

Persaud was later surprised with her own boutique which was gifted to her by her sister. “ One night I was surprised with my own boutique, I was shocked, so yes prayers do work.”

Built her own little family

After a few months of building her home, she was finally finished and moved in but something was missing to complete her home and that was a life long partner.
“I so wanted a little family, so I tried dating a few times to complete my little family; I put my all into those relationships but ended up with nothing. They were only out for their own gain,” Persaud told INFO 10.

There were no brick walls set up against the opposite sex but kept an open mind and heart and as such, God sent a wonderful young man along her way.”
“Our interaction sparked something, a spark for a fire perhaps. He was not looking for a committed relationship at the time, but we felt great together and it was difficult to deny or ignore this. Destiny had it planned for us.
Now I can surely say my little family is about to be completed because it’s just not I alone who love him but my daughter also and he loves and adores us too, ” she related.

Persaud in addition pointed out that her journey to success does not end here and refuses to give up despite the challenges that may come along the way.
“I would like to thank the good Lord for blessing me continuously throughout the years. It wasn’t that easy growing up, but I’m thankful for the experience that I gained. I became mature at an incredibly early age.”

As she turns a new chapter today, she hopes that her story touches someone, particularly a young mother who may feel the need to give up on life, to get up and do something for themselves.
“Having a child should not stop you from achieving success, being a high school dropout should not either, you just need the perseverance and mindset to do better. Have a plan, work the plan, pray and God will definitely help you to become successful,” the young mother concluded.