Kenny Soto Logo 2020

An ode to my mother, on Mother’s Day 2020

I’ve heard stories of how when my mother was studying for her accounting degree at Lehman College, she would take me with her to class. Having a child at the age of 16 wouldn’t stop this woman from getting an education and creating her own future.


As a single mother, she certainly had a lot of support form her family. Yet, if it weren’t for her tenacity and common sense, I wouldn’t be the man I am today. I learned a lot from observing her.


She showed me that it’s okay to ask for help. Other people will help you but, you have to ask first. I also learned from her that it is possible to get out of the hood, but you have to be able to:

  • Get a good education
  • Save money
  • Use debt effectively
  • And work.


From observing my mother, I learned what it means to not take life too seriously (something I still struggle with). She showed me that you can work hard and still have a good time on your off days. I learned from her that having a sound education is the most powerful thing you can acquire. Without a passion for learning, you’re toast.


Living with my mother taught me that you can live with regrets but, those regrets shouldn’t define you. Just because you have children at an early age doesn’t mean you can’t travel in the future. Just because you become a mother in your teens doesn’t mean that you won’t be an inspirational pillar in your children’s lives. Whenever she wanted to accomplish something, she tried her best. If she couldn’t accomplish it, she made sure she learned something.


My mother raised two children in the Bronx, making ends meet every day to get us through school. She was able to get us out of Castle Hill avenue, show us the advantages of living in New York City, and pushed us to be our very best.


She also gave us massive room to make mistakes. She told me early on that I responsible for every decision I made. I could rely on her for a roof, a bed, and food but that was it. If I wanted to make something for myself, I had to work for it.


Thanks to my mom, I have been given a work ethic that has led me to where I am today. She’s the most inspiring person I know. Thanks to her I have a curiosity to learn that I don’t think will ever go away.


Although we may be miles apart right now, I still try to make her proud to this day. I have seen through her how important it is to have a strong mother. And I will always love her for the sacrifices she’s made.


Questions to think about: “What characteristics do you currently have that you can directly attribute to your parents? When’s the last time you thanked them for the lessons they taught you?”

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