"Good afternoon. I am Tanesha Bates and I'm taking you all back to the year of 1997. I was a senior at Hamsun High School, and I was an honor student. And I was pregnant. And I had to make a decision that will change my life forever. My mother wanted me to abort my child. But I decided to keep my daughter. And I had Jarianna, on October 8, 1997. I had thoughts that ran through my head, like how would I take care of my child when I finished school, and who would keep my baby if I went to school. So my three neighbors, Miss Three, Miss Kay, and Miss Classton kept my daughter while I went to school. And I took her on my child by doing hair. And I graduated Class of 1998. Then fast forward to the year 2001. I had my second daughter, Tiana. And that's when life got real. I lost a very close cousin to a traumatic death. And he was more like a brother. I went into a deep depression, and didn't even know what depression was. I was losing weight. I didn't even want to live anymore. And at the funeral, it hit me so hard, when I saw him, I dropped my baby in the casket. And I was trying to pull him out of the casket. And after the funeral, days get long and hard. And I was fading away, getting very small. And my mother looked at me one day, and she said I can't take care of your children. And that's when a light switch hit home. I had to get myself back together. I had to be strong. I had two daughters to take care of. And now we finna go on to 2007 I had my third daughter, Tashana. I was just trying to be the perfect momma. At that point. I was still doing her. I was working at FedEx, I was making treats, I was doing anything I could do to provide a good life for my children. And education is important, also. I want to teach my children that they could be positive products of South Memphis. So in 2017 I went on to LeMoyne-Owen College and I was inducted into the National Honor Society with my oldest daughter, Jarianna. And I was still trying to be the perfect mom. But I learned that there was not one way to be a perfect mom. But a hundred ways to be a good mom."

Tanesha Bates

Tanesha is originally from Jackson, TN. She is the mother of three daughters: Jarianna, Teunna, and Tashawna and the proud grandmother of Chase and Taylen. Tanesha is a cosmetologist and a “positive product of South Memphis!” She is very compassionate and engaged in efforts to uplift her community and inspire future generations.

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