KISH: Tell us about you.
Ms. Rosemary Oglesby-Henry is a native Cincinnatian. Rosemary started her adult life as a teen parent but used her struggle, strong faith in God, social support, and self-motivation to heal and help others to do the same. Oglesby-Henry is a bridge-builder, nationally known leadership educator, author, philanthropist, and award-winning founder/ CEO of an impact organization (501c3) committed to helping teen parents master the concepts of self-leadership to leave a legacy. Ms. Oglesby-Henry’s work has been published in three magazines including Forbes and four novels. She is featured in the 2022 Documentary Short, Worth One’s Salt by Producer Dr. Dretona Maddox, a social impact film that focuses on barriers to health equity in maternal health for black pregnant teens.She has received more than (40) forty honors and recognitions for her leadership and philanthropy throughout her career. She has shared her story and her organization’s mission as a speaker and panelist at conferences, events, and across international and local media outlets to millions. She has been quoted in numerous magazines and on platforms for her advocacy positions related to education, Youth Pregnancy &Parenthood Awareness, and maternal health. Ms. Rosemary has been a member of more than 10 boards local and state. Over two decades Rosemary, an entrepreneur. has used her business acumen to mentor and consult with more than 50 small businesses and non-profits to start, expand programs, and increase revenue by more than 50% estimated cumulative at $200,000.
KISH: What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?
Ms. Rosemary: My dream through the P.E.T.A.L.S Incorporation is to contribute to the global economy, and social advancements of teen parent families in parenting, education, technology, arts, leadership, and social determinants. My goal is to become a national ambassador for teen parents in Africa. By accomplishing this calling, children who choose to have their babies will have a better jumpstart with fewer restraints that would ordinarily keep them bound to a life of poverty and struggle.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream?
Ms. Rosemary: My dream was and is my calling. God was and is the inspiration for this organization. My motivation at first was my children to show them that no matter the barrier moves forward. Later the motivation was me as this work has brought me to a place of healing and closer to God. I do have several mentors and coaches that have left made a significant difference in my life including my grandmother Rose for whom I am named, Dr. Cheryl Polote-Williamson (my business and life coach), Dr. Karen Bankston, Stephanie Byrd, and my mother and Godmothers.
KISH: What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream?
Ms. Rosemary: The road to building Rosemary’s Babies Co. has not been easy as the cause itself is controversial and comes with a negative stigma; this makes it almost impossible to get these teens the support they adequately need. Further, there is very little legislation or policy related to supporting teen parents who choose to parent. Policy initiatives were overlooked as state and local governments focus their efforts more on prevention. Opening their new facility was and is still a struggle as community members have worked to negatively highlight these families in the community; they have been called dangerous and pose a threat to the safety of other families by the young mom’s fathers. More there is a belief even by some that supporting these young families is condoning teen pregnancy. On the contrary, supporting these families diverts them from going on the system, expanding their families before their times, and reducing healthcare costs and infant mortality. The organization is highlighting the success of individuals who were teen parents to influence supporters from all walks of life to share their information, give, and volunteer. Personally, being a mother, wife, and matriarch of my family led to health issues from stress. The stigma that comes with being a superwoman and having “black girl magic” was prevalent throughout my almost decade-long plight to get my degree.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered?
Ms. Rosemary: Regardless of the challenges, I have encountered what inspires me to move forward is the endgame or end goal. I ask myself, “Is the sacrifice worth the reward?” I ask this question in every incidence. Daily I own those challenges and barriers that never broke me. I own the sacrifices I am making to ensure teen parents prosper and my calling is fulfilled.
KISH: Please provide final thoughts/advice for others by finishing this sentence… dream.
Ms. Rosemary: Dream big – Dream extraordinary. A dream is so big that the goal will take a lifetime. A dream so extraordinary that even if you never meet the goal, you will have done some amazing things and awesome life. A dream that only God has called on your life.