If you go into the dictionary and look up the definition of resilience, you’ll find Gena Peth’s name. Her story is like no other; just imagine being diagnosed with a learning disability at the age of 6 and allowing that to dictate your life into adulthood because you were made to believe that you were stupid. This is exactly what happened to her – this is part 1 of 3 of Gena’s Hard Beautiful Journey.
In school, Gena was put in disabled learning classes; her self-confidence was shot, so she turned to drugs and dropping classes. It took just one teacher to believe in her for her to turn her life around, which she did and almost immediately.
While in school, Gena was nudged into working at McDonald’s because she was convinced that it was all she could ever amount to. To her own surprise, she climbed the ranks quickly and became the store’s youngest manager. Yet, out of rebellion, she met a guy in hopes of having someone take care of her; she eventually became pregnant, to which her parents gave her the ultimatum of getting rid of the baby or leave.
Homeless at 18, Gena found herself living in and out of shelters, cars, and couches, all while working three jobs.
“Even though we were homeless I still felt loved”
During this time, she continued to stay with her baby’s father. He was controlling, abusive, and manipulative. Isolating her was his favourite tactic and this behaviour extended out to the now three children. Once he struck their youngest daughter, enough was enough.
Gena got a message from God, and three days later, she was gone. With support from the church and family, Gena persevered on reaching the unthinkable, going to college. In fact, her counselor gave her the ultimatum of applying to college or never meeting with him again. So, she took the test, discovering that she didn’t have a learning disability, and graduated with a degree for computer information science.
This is only a quarter of Gena’s story. Make sure to tune in next week to learn more of her magnificent journey.
“The victories that you get from those struggles is what defines you and gives you strength”
[02:39] Introduction to Gena Peth
[06:13] Background on Gena
[10:00] Passing of Gena’s grandfather
[12:32] Experimenting with drugs
[14:41] Getting a job at McDonald’s
[16:42] Becoming pregnant
[19:11] Working 3 jobs
[20:32] Listening Dr Tony Evans
[21:38] Meeting Nancy
[23:33] Leaving the relationship
[27:57] The 3-day plan
[31:05] Shifting from isolation
[32:19] Cindy Price
[35:19] Group therapy
[37:02] Learning that there was no learning disability
[40:11] Hired from her first interview
[43:01] Speaking at the workforce summit represent women in technology
[49:39] Expressing gratitude
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