A Dream Come True

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My name is Ally Alicki and I am a current participant of Ripple of One. I will be graduating

from the program in July and hope to be able to come back and serve other clients in the area

of health and wellness, as this is something that is so important to me. I am thankful that I was

asked to share my story with you and give encouragement to those who need it the most.

During my marriage, I experienced a lot of verbal assault, sexual violence, and isolation

from my family and church. Due to the isolation from a core support system, I always found

myself returning to my abuser. When my daughter began to ask about church and who God

was, I used that as a reason to be able to go to church and build relationship, so I could finally

leave the abuse for good.

After building those relationships and connecting with my boss and sharing what was

going on, I found a place for the children and I to go and left him for good. With the

encouragement of a coworker and my boss, I finally applied for the Ripple of One program. I

knew I needed help with learning how to budget and the support system sounded amazing!

Over the past two years in the Ripple Program, I have grown and learned so much about

myself. My relationship with God has done nothing but grow! With the encouragement of my

team, I mustered the courage to go back to school. Originally I thought I would get my degree in

nursing, but after a year of taking courses I realized that wasn’t God's plan for my life. This time

last year, I heard clearly from the Lord that I was to attend Southern Wesleyan University. How

can this be possible considering I didn't have the funds to obtain a Bachelor's Degree? I felt the

Lord remind me of the call I felt on my life to help others who had been through the same things

as myself, so I applied for SWU!

I was accepted really quickly into the human services program at SWU and I knew that

this was God’s plan for my life. The only issue was the funds. While being in Ripple, I am

supposed to be working on getting rid of debt and not gaining debt, so taking out student loans

was not an option for me. Thankfully another Ripple client had shared with me about a

Scholarship Program that helped women who have been through intimate partner or domestic

violence. I applied for the scholarship, even though it wasn’t an easy process. I had to

completely write out the story of the trauma that I experienced over the past 9 years.

Unfortunately, the process for that scholarship takes around 2 months to complete and I

didn’t apply until July. I was so afraid that I wasn’t going to get it in time, but I was able to take

out a loan to be able to begin the semester on time. In November, I finally heard back from the

Scholarship program and I had been approved for the remainder of the balance for my tuition

and I was able to send the loan money back. This was another sign that I was exactly where I

was supposed to be! For the first time in a long time, I felt that I was moving in the right direction

with my Ripple team walking alongside me every step of the way!

After two short semesters, I was able to graduate with my Bachelor’s Degree in Human

Services while making the Dean’s List both semesters. The same day as graduation, I received

the email that I had been accepted to USC in the Social Work program. My ultimate goal is to

receive my Master’s and get licensed so that I begin to counsel and help other women who

have been through similar situations as I have.

I am thankful that I have so much support and encouragement from my team at Ripple.

Even though taking out the loan wasn’t something that my team wanted me to do, they

supported and trusted me in my decision making. We are all moving and growing together and

are better for it! I truly am thankful for the transformation that has occurred in my life and the

relationships I've made while in Ripple of One.

Stephanie Enders