Adult Learning Survivor

Adult Learner Is A “Survivor” Now Giving Back

At first glance, Margo Green appears to be like any other student enrolled in New Community’s GED-Prep class at the Workforce Development Center in Newark. But this mother of six adult children and grandmother of 23 is a “survivor.”

“I have come a long way and learned a lot of hard lessons, but I now know what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger,” said Green, 50.

The eighth child born to a single mother of 10, Green attended Newark public schools, but dropped out at age 15.

“I met a guy I fell in love with and by the time I was 15, I was pregnant with my first child. At the age of 18, I was pregnant with my second child and married. I was so in love,” Green recalled.

The first year of her marriage was “great,” but things went downhill from there, she said. According to Green, her husband became “very controlling and gradually began to isolate” her from her mother and siblings. As time went on, she said he became unfaithful and both verbally and physically abusive. She couldn’t keep a job and also was forced to quit a school she had started attending.

Feeling hopeless and trapped, Green attempted suicide. Her children also became victims of her husband’s abuse, she said, and her family eventually broke-up, with DYFS getting involved and her husband, a minister whom she has since divorced, moving out and taking most of the children with him.

Green was evicted and moved into a homeless shelter with her remaining son. She found a job as a waitress and fought for full custody of her children, along with child support, and eventually won. She baked and sold cookies for a while to earn extra money and soon moved into a new apartment and landed a job as a retail manager.

“The business was very successful, but my mom became ill and passed away and I could no longer continue to run the business,” she said.

Last year, she started a non-profit called “In My Father’s House.” She describes it as an outreach program that advocates for victims of domestic violence/abuse.

“I am very dedicated to this organization due to my own life experience,” she said.

After she earns her GED, Green plans to enter college and study Anthropology.

“ I realize to better serve my organization, I need to finish school. I want to reach a broader base to help as many people as I can and I know that having a degree will allow me to do just that,” she said.