I am hoping you will consider making a donation that is possible for you of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more to support me in attending Maternidad La Luz Midwifery School in El Paso, TX, for the 18 month midwifery education program. I am striving to raise $15,000 to cover the costs of the program. I plan to raise the money by March 1st and plan to begin training in March, 2013.
I have been working for the last ten+ years as an advocate and support person for survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse. I have worked in shelters and courtrooms, have met with and supported people in their homes, hospitals, schools, jobs and social service agencies. Throughout my work, I have noticed gaps in services and worked with and within community to create options to offer. I have worked collaboratively to develop networks to support healthcare access, requesting donations for healing work for shelter clients and other low income community members. While working with youth, I've been active in creating venues for them to share their art, perform, garden, and create impactful programs to support healing and relationship building. I've started projects, watched them grow and become self-sustaining. I'm confident that I will be able to start a midwifery practice, develop collaborations and support with community based midwives and grow my practice to work with low-income people, particularly teen moms. Through my work as a domestic violence and sexual assault response worker, as well as a youth worker, I feel honored to have individuals and families to heal from violence, create new options in their lives and take small and significant steps towards restoring their dignity, personal and community power.
I am willing to try new hings to affect community change. In order to offer deeper support and to be able to communicate with people in the community, I became fluent in Spanish and proficient in American Sign Language. I grew up speaking Greek, and have had monolingual and immigrant family members who I have interpreted for throughout my life and I understand the importance of understanding culture and language. I have also worked within communities to organize healing events, create art, poetry and theater productions, and develop community safety strategies when people do not want police involvement. These experiences will lovingly inform my transition into midwifery and into future work in communities to bring people together to create new options for healthcare. As a midwife, I also plan to take on apprentices, which will further deepened and extend care into the community.
I have worked very hard within the lower-paying jobs that I have held to provide a high standard of care to others and to tend to my own needs to be healed, healthy and strong to be able to show up in the community in powerful ways. I began working in the community not only to help the community become stronger, but to also be able to more deeply assist my family members in navigating the medical, social services and housing systems. I come from a low-income background, and have lent my energy, care and commitment doing anti-violence work because I have experienced violence both as a teen and an adult, have a strong sense of the importance of patience and persistence, and have known how important it is to have access to spaces that support healing and leadership and bring people together to create a wider societal change. I began working as a doula in 2004, because I wanted to offer support to teens within their pregnancies, knowing that many times teens are navigating complex relationship and family dynamics while experiencing body and emotional changes within their pregnancies.
I recently attended a conference and met a medical student who was attending Harvard Medical School, in her last year of residency. She shared that she had never attended a birth without a medical intervention. I am pursuing direct-entry midwifery because I believe that training in traditional methods of childbirth is aligned with my experience of encouraging, supporting and uplifting the strengths and intuition that have helped us move through our lives, grow and thrive. I am excited to work in collaboration with other providers to create a comforting, comprehensive plan to support people to have babies, and I am excited to be moving into the direct-entry midwifery role, which I have wanted to do for over ten years.
I am asking for your donation to help me with this next phase of my life’s work, and to be a part of the community changing for the better. I plan to become a midwife to work with low-income people, and particularly teen moms, to help them have a healthy, positive birthing experience. When I was growing up, I remember navigating a difficult high school experience, where half of my graduating class was kicked out of the school, leaving 50% of our class to graduate. The only thing I remember about giving my high school valedictorian speech is appreciating my pregnant classmates for being such important, vibrant people in our school. I would like to be part of the community in a way to lend resources and care to pregnant teens, who I believe have so much to offer and deserve so much support. As a queer woman, I also want to hold space within the queer community to have home birth options with full respect to the constellations of family that we embrace and that hold us up. I am asking for your support to help me attend school so that I can become a midwife and extend a deeper level of care, love and support out into the community.
Please extend what financial contribution you are able to towards my goal of raising $15,000 by March 1st to help me be able to attend Maternidad La Luz. Please share this request with friends, family and loved ones. Your love, thoughts and suggestions are also warmly appreciated.
Take good care-
Ourania "Rani" N. Tserotas
Here is the translation of Maternidad La Luz, in case you're interested:
maternidad: birth "maternity" center
la luz: the light
In Spanish, the word for birthing is "dar la luz", literally, giving the light.