Christina first met Jayme, Thrive! Executive Director, when she was a youth in foster care.
Years later, their connection once-again shaped Christina’s life. A simple invitation to a Thrive! dinner opened the door to a better life for her and her two children.
When Christina joined Thrive!, her two children were in foster care, a situation she wanted to change. Fast forward 3-1/2 years: Christina is working full-time and has sole custody of her children. “I’m living near Lawrence and work in store operations at Fastenal,” explains Christina. “I am living paycheck to paycheck, but I am not depending on someone else. No IOUs!”
She’s finding that independence has its hurdles. “I’m not saving yet. I no longer qualify for assistance, and day care and health care expenses are more. I feel like I am spending much more; but, I am moving up and have a budget.”
Despite the challenges, Christina is proud of her accomplishments. “I never thought I’d make this much money and live outside Manhattan. I have freedom, independence and I am a better parent.” She attributes this to learning how to apply for jobs. “Once you know how to interview, you can achieve more.”
Learning is a common theme in her Thrive! memories. “I learned how to file taxes and apply for car insurance. I didn’t know how to do these things.” Perhaps most importantly, she learned how to parent. “I am much more level-headed, organized and spend real time with the kids. My Thrive! Allies taught me that kids really just need love and attention. There comes an age we mimic our parents. I learned that I can do things differently.”
Speaking with Christina, one can sense that she’s grounded, focused and has plans for an even brighter future. “I plan on finishing school to become a mechanic and save for a down payment on a house.”
Christina’s Advice for Leaders and Allies
Leaders – individuals seeking to improve
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