Rebecca Limbaugh, Program Director, BHGH of Detroit
I am employed with BHGH because I truly believe in the mission and I understand the struggle. I am a native Detroiter who grew up in an environment similar to the background of many scholars we serve. I had two great parents, but my dad suffered from PTSD so mom was left with lots of responsibilities and minimal support. I am the 7th of 8 children and a first-generation college graduate. I grew up in an environment where drugs, gangs, violence, and lack of educational structure were the norm. I know how it feels to go to school hungry and return to a home without heat and electricity. Christmas trees, presents, and brand new bicycles were luxuries we couldn’t afford.
As a pre-teen, I witnessed and fell victim to many forms of community violence. Without positive intervention, growing up in this type of environment can eat away at a child’s soul and crush dreams. Eventually, my oldest sister married a high-powered attorney and moved into the suburbs of Detroit. She saw that despite our living environment, I was a straight “A” student with big dreams and a prayer for a better life. My sister and her new husband picked me up every weekend, and summer months to expose me to opportunities and a better life. Despite many challenges and obstacles, I have been able to achieve every academic and career goal that I dreamed. As a result of their intervention, I managed to persevere and accomplish more than I could ever imagine. I personally understand the impact love, resources, opportunity, exposure, and support can have on a child who is determined to enhance the quality of his or her life. To date, I visit my sister and brother in law regularly and I am forever grateful.
What I have been able to accomplish: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, a Master’s degree in Counseling, and am a Ph.D. candidate, (Advanced Studies in Human Behavior). In addition, I am an established child and family therapist; an adjunct professor, having taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the Masters of Arts in Counseling and Family Life Education Programs for the past 14 years; an established child advocate (hospitals, court system, high schools, etc.); an administrator working in non-profits for 9 years; an entrepreneur (Pleasant Care Adult Day Care LLC and Real Talk Counseling Services LLC); a property owner (housing dislocated refugees); and many other accomplishments and community volunteer work.
I am proud of my accomplishments, but I am most proud of my four years at BHGH. I wasn’t looking for a job, I had never even heard of Boys Hope Girls Hope. Once my friend forwarded the position description to me, I felt compelled to apply. I walked away from a stable and successful career as a therapist in the suburbs and returned home to Detroit to work with our scholars. I strive to be a role model and a living, breathing example for our scholars. It’s important that we send a strong message that despite what ANYONE says, your environment and past experiences don’t define your success. It is also important to note that giving back to your community is what will bring you true happiness. I am content and appreciate my past struggles and experiences; they have equipped me with passion, true grit, character, resilience and a strong faith in God. We should be forever mindful and defiantly proud of the life-changing work we do here at BHGH. Thank you BHGH and happy 40th!
Whether you are a scholar, collegian, alumnus, alumna, volunteer, team member, board member, contributor, partner or advocate, we invite you to share your story as part of our 40th Anniversary celebration. Click here to learn more!