My name is Rosemary Ketchum. I am a community advocate living in Wheeling, W.V. I was raised by a pair of awesome blue-collar parents in the old manufacturing town of East Liverpool, Ohio.

Growing up, our family often experienced the same struggles other working “lower” class folks did. We used safety net programs when we needed them and gave back when we could. There was rarely enough money but there was always an abundance of love.

This kind of childhood would cause anyone to grow up fast. No matter how hard parents try and hide the struggle, the insidious nature of poverty sneaks into every conversation and hangs over every decision a family has to make.

Any family in poverty understands the balancing acts, the shame, and the anxieties. I commend my parents for being able to provide us with food, love, and support – things many kids do without. But, I recognize that not everyone has been given the same opportunities to succeed as I have.

I work on behalf of disadvantage communities and community members because I believe that everyone should have access to opportunity and the ability live where there is love.

Forward,

Rosemary –