Roberta Cykon shows up to class with a smile on her face, easily making friends with her younger classmates. Some of them even refer to the nontraditional student as “mom.”
But by talking to Roberta Cykon for five minutes, you wouldn’t know that her smile comes from being raised in a dysfunctional atmosphere.
After years filled with anorexia, promiscuity and anger toward those who’d hurt her, today she is living with the purpose of making a difference in others’ lives.
“I needed to go through those experiences to help those who are going through it today,” Roberta Cykon said.
She has goals in her life, and one was to get the Trumbull County Community Star Award. Just before she turns 40, she’ll be receiving the award for the community service she’s done.
Melanie Jones, Roberta Cykon’s mentor, is one member of the Trumbull County community who nominated her for the award.
Roberta Cykon met Jones a year ago and helps with her Girl Scout troop.
“I nominated her because of all the hard work she does,” Jones said. “She does it all from her heart and expects nothing in return.”
Roberta Cykon said that before she receives her award, she’ll stand in front of everyone and thank God. Then, she’ll say, “If I ever hurt anyone here today, I would like to ask for your forgiveness.”
She’ll do so with the hope that those from her past will forgive her, as she admitted to manipulating people’s feelings so they would feel the same pain that she did.
“It hurts when I think about how many people I’ve hurt,” Roberta Cykon said.
A turning point in her life was when her grandmother died in 2005.
“I realized that I would be in that situation someday. It’s unavoidable. I started thinking who would be there for me. Would I have people holding me, or would I have a line of people waiting to piss on my grave?” Roberta Cykon said.
Roberta Cykon’s mother, Evelyne Rogers, said her daughter doesn’t need to worry.
“Roberta, you’ve done a good job and are one of God’s people. There is a special place in heaven for you, and a lot of people are going to miss you,” Rogers said.
Rogers’ life wasn’t without complications.
When Roberta Cykon was 15 years old, Rogers attempted suicide.
Roberta Cykon said she remembers coming home that day and seeing a note on the table. She wandered around the house feeling confused.
She was using the bathroom when she realized that her mother was dying.
“This is the God honest truth. I heard plain as day, ‘Roberta, what are you doing? Your mother is dying,’” Roberta Cykon said.
Roberta Cykon said this was the first time she came into contact with the Holy Spirit.
“It’s a shame what she went through. I had wanted my husband to find me instead of her,” Rogers said. “If it wasn’t for my daughter, I wouldn’t be here.”
Rogers died six times in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Shortly after, Roberta Cykon went to children services.
Another turning point in her life was when she gave birth to her son, Brandon Piros.
“I consider him my angel. If it wasn’t for my son, I would be dead right now,” Roberta Cykon said.
The guilt of cheating on her ex-husband, which caused him to leave her and raise Piros alone, weighs on Roberta Cykon.
“I feel bad for what he went through. I always say sorry for not being able to give him a family where both parents are together,” Roberta Cykon said.
Piros said he always assures his mom to not worry about it.
“She’s kind of been my mom and dad. I tell her not to worry about it. My life was normal for me having one mom,” Piros said.
Roberta Cykon was able to give Piros a stepfather on Aug. 11, 2004.
Roberta Cykon said she stopped being promiscuous when she reconnected with her husband, Mike Cykon.
She admitted to sleeping with more than 200 men as a way to feel loved.
Before dating her current husband, she told him, “You can’t handle me.”
“I just tried to prove to her that I could handle her,” Mike Cykon said.
The two attended junior high school together, and Mike Cykon didn’t remember Roberta Cykon in a negative way.
“When we reconnected; it was great to find someone from my past that I thought highly of. In school, she always made a point to talk to kids that maybe some people wouldn’t talk to,” Mike Cykon said.
He said her past didn’t matter to him.
“Everyone has their own past. We all have skeletons in the closet,” Mike Cykon said. “She’s one of the most caring people I’ve ever met. She’s even kind to strangers.”
Roberta Cykon said her motto for this year is “Roberta Michelle Cykon. Established: 1973. Reinvented: 2005.”
“It’s going to be my year. I’m one person away from my miracle,” Roberta Cykon said.