Tara says she was anxiety ridden and lost with no plan to get off government assistance. She had a significant amount of debt that was weighing her down. Tara was struggling to find out what her strengths were. She knew God had blessed her with certain talents but had no idea where to start. Tara has been taking college classes and receiving grant assistance for school. In order to continue receiving the school tuition assistance, she’s not allowed to earn over a certain amount or the assistance will stop. This made it impossible for her to pay off her debts and create an emergency account. Tara shared - that the little money that she did earn - went to unneeded things that would bring at least some joy for the day. Around and around she went.
What was your state of mind or emotional state before starting ripple?
I was in a state of high stress and anxiety because I would not know how to handle money situations. I was always spending savings on things that were knocking me down as a result of spending for memberships to things that I did not need. I would eat out more than eat at home. I would make excuses to justify my spending. I didn't know it at the time, but I was using food as a crutch to get past my emotional feelings, and I was highly dramatic and emotional because I was constantly maintaining a busy schedule to run from my problems.
What major challenges and/or poor choices brought you to that place?
I was going from job to job, so I never had a stable income. The money that I would get at the moment was spent on what I thought I needed at that time. I would loan money (and my name) to people who needed their electricity turned on or who needed cell phones, etc. Eventually the people whom I gave loans to— would abandon their bills —leaving me to fit the bill! I also had several romantic relationships that ended badly.
Do you feel more confident? Do you feel more stable? If so why?
I feel more confident than I ever have because I am starting to realize that the things that happen to me, happen to everyone. My Ripple sisters are constantly lifting me up. I feel more stable because I have a great job at the Foothills YMCA as their office manager. This started as a Ripple internship but they have hired me to work part-time. I'm finding through this job that my co-workers really do trust me and believe in me. I'm realizing that I'm good at what I do and that I do have something to offer. I have a plan and a desire to DREAM BIG. I also want to give the gift of EMPOWERMENT to other women an men that Ripple has given it to me.
What are you doing now that you didn’t do before Ripple?
I am making a weekly budget and sticking to it. I am doing the FITBIT and tracking my meals in order to be healthier. I have joined Ripple’s newest program called RIPPLE STRONG- which focus’s on overall wellness. I am supporting and being supported by great women who care about me. I am not making any more excuses. I have a savings, and I am making healthy meals at home.!
What is it that you would like to tell others?
I’m so glad I heard about Ripple - I found out about this program through a friend who was given the flyer at Golden Corner Food Pantry. Now I just want my story to tell everyone one in the WORLD that rehabilitation can happen. When you STRIVE, you THRIVE! I want women and men to know that empowering yourself empowers your family! GOD IS RIGHT BESIDE YOU!! Thanks to everyone for helping me change my thoughts and helping and motivating me to BE MORE!!!!