Making ripples: No longer stuck
Ripple of One has helped me moved forward and get out of being stuck. They have helped me to see things in a different way.
Before Ripple, I was doing drugs, spending money and didn’t have a plan. I hadn’t finished high school, so I still needed to get my GED. I would start my GED and then quit. I started and stopped going to school so many times.
I’m a single mom, so when I would get offered a job I would quit school because I needed money to pay my bills. When I got into Ripple, they told me that if I went back to school for my GED and stuck with it, they would take care of household products and give me a job (Ripple internship) working at adult education while going to school.
So I stuck with it and finally got my GED. Then I went on to college at Tri-County Technical College. During college, Ripple gave me my next internship at United Way, which complemented my hours that I worked in the work studies job program at Tri-County.
The Ripple internship was excellent. I needed a job that would allow flexible hours while going to school or I think I would have just kept quitting.
My Ripple team also helped me come up with a financial plan and a life plan. I didn’t have any savings account —no cushion at all if an emergency would happen. Now I have a savings, and if anything happens, I’m prepared.
The other great thing is that they match my savings up to $200 every month, which helped me create the savings that I have today. The matching motivated me to get as much money into my savings in order to take advantage of the matching benefit.
My team keeps me laughing, but yet they keep me focused. I need that, because life will show up and it will knock you down. With this program, you are surrounded by so many positive people that lift you up when you need it most.
Patrice Cleveland is a participant in Ripple of One, a nonprofit organization that works with low-income families.
Note from Ripple of One director Stephanie Enders:
Patrice Cleveland is a mother of four boys. Two of her sons live with her now, and two do not. Patrice is a good mom. She hopes some day to share with her other two boys why she doesn’t have them and how she is different today.
Patrice wants to be able to tell them that she has a college degree and is financially stable. Also that she is doing something positive with her gifts and hopes they will go to college some day, too.
Well, now she can. Patrice graduates from college on May 10 and is currently receiving all As and Bs. She is confident that she will make the dean’s list.
Patrice has also paid off most of her debt and has a healthy savings account, which she only touches for emergency purposes. Most of all, Patrice is excited about teaching other single moms to become financially stable and to never give up on their dreams.
For more information, contact Stephanie Enders at (864) 710-9565.
Reprinted with consent from Seneca Journal