It was my fortune to have a child when I was 16. I had just finished — I finished high school three weeks before my son was born. Now, here was my blessing. I refused to go on welfare; I refused to take money from my mother; and when my son was three months old, I moved out of my mother’s house and got a room with cooking privileges. I did force myself to read. Read. And I did force myself to work. I have taken my son all over the world. He finished high school in Egypt, where I was working; took his first degree from the University of Ghana, where I was working. I realize this, and this is what I have to say to the young women who already have children: Remember that that is somebody. That’s not just an appendage. It’s not just somebody you attach to your hip and you hold in your arms. That’s a person — a person who may have the most horrible life if you’re not careful, or a person who can have the most glorious life if you’re careful. Just remember that is somebody. And that is somebody’s child: Your child. And that you are somebody’s child. So try to enrich yourself. Don’t take “No.” Don’t take low. And under no circumstances must you accept being battered by anybody, including life.