Nothing Changes, if Nothing Changes
Taisha Shaw is a case manager at Project HOME's Rowan Homes.
With over a decade of sobriety under her belt Ms. Taryn Perkins is a shining star in the Project HOME Rowan Homes’ community. Having been born and raised in the biggest city in Delaware Ms. Taryn made a choice to seek assistance and support in Philadelphia and hasn’t looked back. Committed to growth and change Ms. Taryn has taken the opportunities before her to excel and become an outstanding example for not only her daughters and son but her whole community.
Traveling along the road to success and recovery has not been an easy one for the mother of five but through her faith and refusal to allow obstacles to hinder her Ms. Taryn has embraced the cycle of change and transformation. Having entered into Rowan Homes shortly after giving birth to her youngest child Ms. Taryn’s goals were centered around her reuniting and rebuilding a life of love and stability with her young son and three daughters ; who at the time were being cared for by their maternal uncle.
Making use of the second chance that was given to her has been the catalyst for change as Ms. Taryn notes, “God gave me a second chance and I am so thankful to do things different.”
The focus on family life and progression has been primary themes and goals for Ms. Perkins. Her ability to overcome barriers and support her family through crisis is profound. Within the last five years the untimely death of Ms. Taryn’s fiancée and father of her youngest two children, Bennie Blake Sr, and beloved eldest son Dwayne Perkins has been a painful reminder of the importance of cherishing life, love, and relationships. The depression that Ms. Taryn felt due to the family’s’ loss did not hinder her but prompted her to shift her focus. With medical issues looming Ms. Taryn decided to leave her employment with the Philadelphia School District and give higher education her attention.
With the creation and implementation of the Philadelphia School District's Parent University in collaboration with Peirce College, Ms. Taryn was one out of 25 applicants awarded a full scholarship to Peirce College, over 200 Philadelphians having applied.
In 2010 Ms. Taryn began her journey at Peirce College obtaining and completing the requirements to be a Certified Peer Specialist as well as completing the graduation requirements to obtain her Associates Degree in General Studies. Ms. Taryn stresses the importance of putting God first with her children as well as respect, and education.
“I had to lead by example with my children,” Ms. Taryn said, “I had to show my children that nothing changes if nothing changes and that you cannot allow anything or anyone to stop you from achieving.”
Ms. Taryn’s transformation and redemption extends beyond her personal growth; the example she has set forth has empowered her eldest daughter Denise Perkins to become a college student as well. In September of this year Denise Perkins will enter into her sophomore year at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore as a declared marketing major.
Denise notes that she always saw college as an option growing up. “Seeing my mom go to college made me go harder-I want to be successful and I know that by me going to college people will take me more serious. People will look at me different and younger kids will know that the negative stereotypes about Black women are not true. I followed my mom by going to college; my sisters and brother are following my footsteps.”
With the support and guidance of the Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs' College Access Coordinator Ms. Tomika Brown and her Mother, Denise Perkins credits her decision to attend the Maryland based Historically Black College due to the excitement, support, and guidance she received on a college tour offered by the Project HOME based teen program.
The Perkins family journey has truly just begun. With the focus on family togetherness, growth and change, and education at the forefront Ms. Taryn has set a solid foundation for her children. The saying that ‘nothing changes, if nothing changes’ has been the catalyst for Ms. Taryn’s transformation and ability to succeed. Ms. Taryn credits God and her children for her ability to embrace wellness and recovery as she sets forth her efforts in obtaining employment in the mental health and substance abuse field currently. Ms. Taryn’s dream and aspirations center around providing support to at risk youth so that they may be influenced and encouraged to move past their past to create a better future.