Meet Dana!

Dana is a 39-year-old single mother to a 14-year-old son living in Lithonia, Georgia. While attending Chamberlain University to get her nursing degree, Dana was struggling to balance school, parenting, and paying the bills. To her, H.O.P.E. Inc.’s program was an opportunity to ease her financial burden, giving her the ability to focus on finishing her education, pursuing her dream in nursing, and raising her son.


Nursing school is a challenge on a good day, but for Dana, it was becoming a true struggle. A single parent trying to pay the bills, she was having difficulty managing time. She was working to save money, juggling parenting responsibilities, and studying long hours to succeed in her degree — and suddenly, it felt like she had nothing left to give. Overwhelmed, she started looking for any scholarships that could help.

“When the school reached out about H.O.P.E.’s program, I immediately jumped on it,” she says. “I needed help.”

Client Situation

Dana first learned about H.O.P.E. a year and a half ago through an email from her university. The instant she heard about what the program did for single-parent students, she wanted to apply. Dana knew that the program could help ease some of the financial burden she was carrying, and she loved that H.O.P.E. didn’t just provide money — it was a place that she would be advocated for.

“I had my interview with Kenita, and she’s a great person,” Dana says. “She supports us and makes sure that we are not just financially okay, but mentally as well. She checks on your family and asks about my son, and that is so important to me.”


H.O.P.E. Inc. was able to provide Dana $400 a month in rent assistance, as well as help with groceries. Beyond financial support, the program also offered budgeting courses, resume workshops, and time management coaching. “It taught me how to save my money and how to eliminate things that are not important factors in my life,” Dana says. “Time management is so important in day-to-day life, and H.O.P.E. gave me the tools I needed.”

Now, Dana is set to graduate from nursing school this upcoming June and aspires to be an E.R. nurse. Through H.O.P.E.’s support, the weight was lifted off her shoulders, giving her the necessary time to study and be with her son.

“My grades went up because of H.O.P.E., and I was able to spend time with my son and see what his needs were,” she says. “I didn’t have to work so hard — the burden came off me.”


“H.O.P.E. Inc. is not just a program. It’s more than that. It’s being a part of a group, a team. It’s family relying on each other. Kenita is someone you can count on — she is someone you can tell your deepest, darkest secrets to, and it’s held on a personal level.”

(Dana, 2023 Graduate)


Meet Ketia!

Ketia is a 32-year-old single mother to three children living in Dallas, Georgia. While attending Chamberlain University to get her nursing degree, she heard about H.O.P.E. Inc.’s program and reached out for financial assistance in order to be able to pursue her education and care for her children. 


While Ketia was attending college to get her nursing degree, she was transitioning from being married to newly divorced with three children. As Ketia processed that she was now a single mother trying to raise her kids, she entered a difficult time of her life financially and mentally. She was struggling to manage money and spend time with her family, while also attempting to maintain her grades to get through school.

Client Situation

During this season, Ketia learned about H.O.P.E. through an email from her university. She was encouraged to apply, and she hoped that the financial support would give her the ability and time to focus on her education without worrying about affording rent or childcare. 


Through H.O.P.E.’s program, Ketia received $400 a month for rent and $300 a month for childcare. Though the financial assistance helped her prioritize her education without fear, she also benefited from the program’s budgeting classes, therapy services, and resume coaching. 

“I’m better now than when I started for sure,” she says. “It’s given me time to focus on finishing school, knowing that I had H.O.P.E. behind me to push me through. It’s definitely been a positive impact.”

Now, Ketia is set to graduate with her nursing degree in April 2023. She has a nursing job lined up post-graduation, and her new position will triple her current income. Going forward, Ketia plans to work in the operating room as a registered nurse, buy a home, and give back to H.O.P.E. however she can.


“It helps to have someone stand beside you. H.O.P.E. feels like a family; they were egging me on every month to reach my goals. We would talk about everything — how school was going, how they could be of assistance — and they would send us whatever helpful resources they could find. They are honestly an amazing tool to use in our community.”

(Ketia, 2023 Graduate)

5 budget-friendly activities to try with your kids

As summer quickly approaches and the weather warms, the time for fun family activities is upon us! However, finding budget-friendly ways to keep kids entertained can be tricky. 

Luckily, there are ways to create fun activities with your kids without breaking the bank. Here’s five budget-friendly ideas for how to make the most of your family time this season.

1. Go outdoors

A fun activity with your kid can be as simple as stepping out your front door. From playing at local parks to setting up a picnic, there are so many adventures you can create without spending a dime. For example, you can use Alltrails to find local trails and parks you can hike, bike, or play at. You can even go treasure hunting with the Geocaching app, which helps you discover little hidden treasures around your town. 

2. Visit a museum

Discovering local museums can be a cheap and educational way to spend time with your kids on a day off. Many museums are free or have discounts for children, and some are even designed with play areas for kids. Find a local children’s museum here, or discover what museums are near you at the Museum USA website.

3. Get creative with home activities

There are so many ways to create fun memories at home. Start a weekly home movie night by renting movies for free at your local library, or organize a family talent show or competition. From building a blanket fort to designing a scavenger hunt around the house, there are lots of creative ways to keep kids entertained. Check out Today’s Parent’s guide to get some ideas for activities to do at home.

4. Involve your community

One of the best ways to keep activities budget-friendly is by involving the people around you. Reach out to friends with kids to start a monthly sleepover exchange, invite other families over for dinner and a game night instead of going out, or see if any family members would be willing to babysit for an evening. Leaning on community can be a way to ease financial burden while also providing social time for your family.

5. Teach new life lessons

When your kids are home and not at school, it can be a great opportunity to teach them new and fun life lessons. Bring your kids into the kitchen to teach them new recipes, or read them some of your favorite books that have impacted you. You can even give your kids a head start on how to be smart with money through programs like Delta Credit Union’s free Cool Cash Camps, which teach young children how to budget and plan financially for the future.

At H.O.P.E. Inc., we want single parents to be able to have the most fun with their kids, without worrying about money! Check out our program to see if you might be a good fit for financial assistance, or donate today to help us provide for single parents in the Atlanta area!


Meet Brenda!

A thirty-six-year-old, single mother of a teen daughter in Rex, Georgia. Brenda contacted H.O.P.E. Inc. for rent assistance when the demands of her Dental Hygiene Program interfered with her work hours and her work study job did not meet her basic needs. 


Brenda is a single mother of one teen daughter. 

Client Situation

Brenda was engaged and looking forward to her future until religious differences caused her to cancel her engagement. She had plan to coparent until she was asked to move out in January. With a teenage daughter and reduced income, Brenda was financially unable to afford her necessities. She was almost done with her Dental Hygiene program, but her work study income was not providing what she needed. She realized that she was going to have to ask for help if she planned on graduating. A program adviser referred her to H.O.P.E, Inc.


H.O.P.E. Inc. agreed to assist Brenda with $400 a month in rent assistance, which helped her tremendously. Brenda was always good with money, but with the support of budget coaches, she was able to increase her savings to over $5,000 and excel in her program. She was able to graduate with her Associate’s in Dental Hygiene from Fortis College in December of 2021, increasing her income from $9,258 to $93,859! A 589% increase! 


“I am extremely satisfied with the HOPE program!!!”

(Brenda, 2021 Graduate


Meet Tyronda!

Tyronda is a 40-year-old single mother to a young son in Marietta, Georgia. While attending Fortis College’s Dental Hygienist Program, Tyronda struggled to cover the costs of rent and childcare. After hearing about H.O.P.E. Inc., she reached out for financial assistance to be able to continue to pursue her education.


For over six years, Tyronda fought to become a Dental Hygienist, trying to get into a program that accepts only 20 students out of thousands that apply. After countless interviews, references, and tests, Tyronda finally got into the program. However, as she started school, she was faced with an unforeseen obstacle — a divorce. With her ex-husband as the bread-winner and unable to work many hours due to school, Tyronda was left wondering how to pay for rent and her son’s after-school childcare. Staying in school grew increasingly difficult, and as the pandemic hit and school went online, she started to reach out to friends in her program for help.

Client Situation

Tryonda’s friends encouraged her to seek out the school counselor for advice, and it was there she learned of H.O.P.E. Inc. After applying, she got the chance to speak with H.O.P.E. Inc.’s founder, Kenita Smith. Tyronda recognized that Kenita had experienced a similar situation to her’s, and she was encouraged to continue to pursue her education despite the financial struggles. “It’s so easy to leave school if you can’t afford it because the main priority is to work and find help for my son,” Tyronda says. “There’s limited resources out there, and it’s a dilemma. But H.O.P.E. really came through.”


H.O.P.E. Inc. was able to financially cover a third of Tyronda’s rent every month, as well as fully cover her after-school childcare fees by offering her $600 a month. This financial assistance helped Tryonda to pursue her remaining education without fear of affording school and childcare. She also benefited from H.O.P.E.’s free budgeting courses, where she learned how to manage her finances to be successful. 

In late 2021, Tyronda graduated from Fortis College’s Dental Hygienist Program, and she secured a job that has increased her income $70,000! For her, the most rewarding part of graduating was her son watching her get her diploma. “For him to see that was everything,” she says. “Kids, they remember stuff like that, and it embeds something in them that you can’t even tell them. So H.O.P.E. has definitely changed lives, and even generations to come.”


“I never predicted that I would be a single parent trying to make it. But there are programs out there like H.O.P.E. that help, and I would strongly recommend H.O.P.E. to anyone. It’s an awesome program. It’s more than just the finances — they help you grow.”

(Tyronda, 2021 Graduate

Reginique’s Story:
How H.O.P.E. is helping her achieve her childhood dreams

Ever since she was a little girl, Reginique knew she wanted to be a nurse.

Watching her mother work as a nurse, Reginique wanted to follow in her footsteps. However, life seemed to get in the way of her goals as she grew up, and the dream of becoming a nurse felt further and further away. 

After having two kids and working through a divorce, Reginique never lost sight of getting her degree. When she moved back to Georgia in 2018, she made a decision — now was finally the time to start pursuing her education. Enrolling in Georgia Military College, Reginique finished her prerequisites and was accepted into Chamberlain University’s College of Nursing in 2021. 

However, being a single parent and a full-time student had its challenges. While struggling to juggle classes and working to support her two daughters, a friend told Reginique to check out H.O.P.E. Inc.

“One of my classmates told me that she was with this program that had been really good to her, and I thought this might be something that could really work for me,” Reginique says. “I applied, and they looked at everything I needed assistance with.”

Repinique was accepted into the program in the spring of 2022. In the past year, H.O.P.E. Inc. has been able to give her vital support in childcare and rent, relieving the pressure of finances while working on her degree. Resources such as budgeting lessons and life coaching have also helped Reginique feel prepared for success in the future. 

“H.O.P.E. helped tremendously,” she says. It’s almost like having a blanket following you around for when you need it, supporting you along the way.”

Now, Reginique is set to graduate on June 17th this year! She feels like she’s been visualizing this path for so long, and now she finally feels like she is going where she belongs. 

“H.O.P.E. is hope for a reason,” she says. “We all need hope, and every little bit of help matters. To be honest, I don’t know where I would be without them.”

At H.O.P.E. Inc., we are so proud of our grads and students, and we want to help more single parents like Reginique! 

If you are interested in becoming a H.O.P.E. Inc. participant or helping parents on their education journey, you can apply, volunteer, or donate today.

Single parents! Here’s 3 ways to offset the cost of inflation

It’s no secret that prices have risen dramatically the past few years. From groceries to rent to transportation — the cost of living day-to-day life for single parents can feel frankly overwhelming.

So how can you combat the reality of rising prices, while still providing for your child’s needs? If you are feeling the pressures of living costs, here are three easy tips on how to save money in an inflated economy.

1. Discover budget-friendly food options

  • Eat at home. Restaurants can be expensive, so it’s helpful to know how to find budget-friendly grocery stores. Walmart and Aldi are known nationally for having affordable groceries, and Sam’s Club and Costco are great for buying bulk items for large families. 
  • Shop at farmers markets. Farmers markets are a great place to find produce that is not only affordable, but locally grown and organic. You can discover a farmers market near you through the National Farmers Market Directory.
  • Utilize restaurant deals. Many restaurants have cheaper menus for children, and some — like IHOP, Denny’s, and Ruby Tuesday — have times of day where kids can eat free! Click here to discover more restaurants in the Atlanta area with kid-friendly deals.

2. Save money on clothing

  • Know where to shop. Shopping at thrift stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army can save big bucks on clothing, as well as large discount stores like TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack. There are even shops like Uptown Cheapskate or Plato’s Closet that will buy your used clothes and give you store credit or cash back!
  • Shop out of season. Buying clothes — and other appliances — after prime seasons can provide significant discounts. For example, you can often find discounts on winter clothes at the end of January, versus before the winter season begins. Check out this guide for the best times of year to buy seasonal clothes.

3. Find affordable child care

  • Discover programs. Child Care Aware America and Head Start can help you find state-funded child care programs, as well as financial support for your children’s mental, physical, and social well-being. In Georgia, you can also check out the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program for access to child care for low-income families. 
  • Child care assistance programs. Make sure to research your school or workplace to see if they have any child care benefits — you might be surprised to find that they have programs like on-site day care services you can utilize. 
  • Lean on a support system. Community can be a huge asset for finding child care. Asking family and friends to help babysit or starting a carpooling network with your neighbors can help you balance your schedule and alleviate child care costs.

Whether it’s affording child care or groceries, we know that the struggle can be tough for single parents to provide in today’s economy. That’s why H.O.P.E. Inc. is passionate about financially supporting single parents who are pursuing their education, so that they don’t have to worry about rising rent or living costs while pursuing their goals. 

If you are interested or know of someone who would like to be a H.O.P.E. participant, you can find more information here!