Teba's Story of Resiliency

One word which links every family that comes through Wellspring’s doors is RESILIENCY. Many of the families we meet have lost everything and been through multiple traumas. Their inner strength and determination has kept them going through trying times.

Teba comes from such a family. She was born in Iraq in 2001 and since that time her life has been ruled by instability. As a child her house was bombed, her family were abused and threatened with death. They escaped Iraq, eventually settling in Everett, Washington through a United Nations refugee program.

Last year, donations helped Teba move into Arbora Court, a supportive housing building run by Bellwether Housing, where Wellspring offers full-time case managers on-site to help residents towards stability.

The year since has been a big one for Teba. She’s had time to reflect on her life, and what she wants to do with it. She is determined to be a teacher.

“I was inspired by my elementary school teacher. When I came to the United States I didn’t really know any English and she took care of me the whole time. She came to my house, she tutored me. In summer she would come over even though it was her vacation, she would come over and teach me. Help me with my English.”

Throughout the year, Teba has worked with Nefertari, her Housing Stability Specialist who offers support to Teba and her family when they need it. Recently Nefertari helped Teba to get a summer job at the University of Washington as a teacher’s aide.

“I talked to Nefertari, I said ‘I’m planning to work a summer job and I was thinking of being a teacher in the future.’ She said ‘You know there’s a teaching aide job at the University of Washington?’ I said ‘Oh my gosh, I’d love to take it.’

“Nefertari helped me with a lot of things honestly. She’s helped me with paperwork. Helped me update my resume. She’s helped my mom a lot. I understand how much work she’s doing for us and I appreciate that.”

Teba's summer job is taking her one step closer to the future she wants for herself.

“I want to inspire children just like my teacher inspired me. I want to give children the minds of doing more than they can. Even though they don’t see that in themselves, because I didn’t see that until my teacher gave me the time and gave me the courage to look at myself.”

“All that life I went through, I never gave up. I felt I did, but I still never gave up, because if I give up on myself I will have hurt myself. I will have put myself down. I will have failed everything I’ve worked hard for.”

She is determined. She is resilient. She will never give up.