Jennifer Lee/Jenesis Skye Patterson
Founder of Saving Angels Organization
Bio: Born and raised in London, England, I came to the US seeking better opportunities, I’ve always wanted to be a Criminal Lawyer so I knew New York had what I needed. In December of 1991 I found out I was pregnant with twins what a blessing that was to me. 5 months into my pregnancy I lost one of the twins, now the fight for survival begun. At the age of 20, I became the mother to my firstborn daughter Tasha-ree N. Lee (who is now a 2nd grade teacher). As a young mother I had to become a giver and nurturer of life, having to protect and provide for the blessing that God had bestowed upon me. 6 years I was blessed with another daughter, Tatyana Parker (a dancer at Purelements: An Evolution in Dance School). Years later I became a model for Katwalk Katerers, participated in many fundraiser and member of various ministries at St. Paul Community Baptist Church. I believe I am so meticulous in my work that I am is affectionately known as the “T and I” person; I leave no T uncrossed or I undotted”. As a child of God, I have learned through my own struggles what it means to be a survivor, learning to tell my story has allowed me to continue to honor God and help other women to live better lives. In 1994 an outreach program was beginning to form, not sure which way to go or how to bring it life the program was put on hold. In 2012 the birth of Saving Angels Outreach Ministry was reborn. Saving Angels Outreach Ministry is a non-profit, faith based organization that believes in providing for and protecting families and individuals in need. We are committed to helping people maintain their dignity during what may be very difficult periods in their lives. When they don’t have the basic necessities or don’t know where to turn for help, we are there. I am humbled and honored to do this work that I am called to do, currently I am looking for a space to relocate Saving Angels, as I truly believe this work is only the beginning.
Interview with Jennifer Lee/Jenesis Skye Patterson
Dhylles Davis: Who is Jennifer Lee?
Jenesis Skye Patterson: Who am I? Interesting question. I had to take some time and think about that one, it required me to pick up a mirror and look at myself (which I don’t like doing). I am a daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, and soon to be wife. I am a domestic violence survivor, incest survivor, cancer survivor. However I do not walk or operate under the titles that I’ve been labeled. On 12/12/12 I was given the name Jenesis Skye Patterson which means:
Jenesis – new beginning, Skye – keep looking up, Patterson – my warrior grandmothers name. Walking in my newness, but never forgetting who I am. Jennifer Lee has had overcome many obstacles and continue to fight for who she is, Jenesis Skye Patterson is taken all that she has learned and applying it as she prepared for her next chapter in her life.
Dhylles: When did you realize you were born an accomplishment?
Jenesis: As a little girl I was always willing to help, from cleaning the church with my nana to leading sabbath school. As I got older and understood the world I realized there where people in my neighborhood who needed help. And I wanted to help them but didn’t know how, my nana would make me lunch and I would give it away, as I was one of those fortunate individuals whose mom worked at the school and that qualified me for free school lunches. Sometimes I would save my lunch tokens and give it away to my friends, just so we all can eat together.
Dhylles: What weaknesses have your turned to strength?
Jenesis: Broken and alone with nowhere to go I landed in the shelter system in 1994 with a two week old baby girl. Sitting in my room, staring at the 4 walls, crying day after day. Hearing a baby crying in the distances not realizing that this new born came from me. She depended on me, she needed me. I had to snap out of it and get it together. I started taking the computer and work study programs that was offered to the residents in the shelter. While doing this I realized that this was a lonely journey, no one cared why/how I landed here. To them I was just a number, another’s mouth to feed. I promised myself and God that if he brought me out of this situation that I would do my best to change that. Saving Angels was born up out of that, it wasn’t and still isn’t easy, but to be able to return back to the shelter I stayed in with care packs and toys just to say “you are someone and you matter” is worth all the work.
Dhylles: How is the Jennifer then different from the Jennifer now?
Jenesis: I’m still growing and learning how to rise above all my challenges. Jennifer then didn’t know how to handle the stress of life, resorting into a safe box, hiding from the world, never letting anyone in or near her. Jennifer now is learning to pray through her troubles, learning how to ask for help when the burden becomes too heavy to carry, learning to cry and to know it’s ok if you can’t do everything.
Dhylles: In what ways do you transfer negative thoughts into positive perspectives?
Jenesis: It’s never easy to think of the positive perspectives when you are faced with negative thoughts, negative health report or even the negative people you have around you. This is where the challenge lays in learning how to transfer/tune out the negative/toxics thoughts and focusing on the positive. So how do I transfer the negative? I do it through dance/ministering, I take everything I am feeling and let go one I am done, I am not saying it easy to do. But it helps, when you can use your body to tell the pain that you are going through.
Dhylles: Thanks so much for being so honest and transparent Jenensis Skye Patterson: I celebrate you!
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