“It is seldom easy to achieve one’s dreams, but Naomi Bradshaw, 43, wishes it had not been quite so difficult,” writes New York Times Reporter John Otis in this recently published profile in The New York Times Neediest Cases series.
She married and the couple had sons. But marital bliss was short-lived.
“’Things got crazy,’ Ms. Bradshaw said. “He told me that I couldn’t go to work or to school.” She recalled numerous instances of abuse and…said her husband repeatedly threatened to harm her with a cricket bat and large kitchen knives…
“In 2005, she left her husband and took her sons to a shelter…
“As a single parent, Ms. Bradshaw pressed on. She took a job at a printing factory and was adamant that her children focus on their academic success
“’My main thing was for them to stay on top in school,’ she said. All three of her sons are A students and on the high honor roll at their schools. Shaun, (her oldest), is a contender for class valedictorian at the Law, Government and Community Service High School in Jamaica, Queens. He is set to graduate in 2016, and is already enrolled in classes at Queens College, with ambitions to pursue a career in law.
There was time now for Ms. Bradshaw to focus on her own career. So she turned to Grace Institute, a Catholic Charities affiliate that provides free business training for women in need.
“I wanted a start, a real start,” Ms. Bradshaw said.
“I’m going to keep pushing like I always do,” Ms. Bradshaw said (after graduating the program in October.) “I’m not afraid.”