Help This Single Mom Finish Her Bachelor’s Degree
Have you ever felt stuck on your journey towards better things? Well H.O.P.E is helping single parents all over metro Atlanta overcome this “stuck” feeling, especially when it comes to finishing school.
In fact, one of our current students— a single mom named Ruby, has been working tirelessly over the past few years to finish her Bachelor’s degree. Her most recent obstacle? Running out of student aid at her school.
Ruby has done all she could to get through school, but after losing her R.O.T.C scholarship due to her weight, being diagnosed with cancer, and learning that her four-year-old son has autism, her dream of completing a college education felt so far away.
We’re proud to have served so many hard-working single parents in Metro Atlanta, and we’re always looking to do more. We believe that the success of our program is largely due to our holistic approach, and the time we spend making sure each participant has what they need to succeed.
As a small team of only two full-time employees, we’re working hard every day to meet the needs of our participants— and we always appreciate the extra help.
With only two semesters left until Ruby completes her Bachelor’s in Technology (something which will benefit both her and her son), we’re determined to see her through.
But we need your help. In order to support Ruby as she realizes her dream of graduating college, we’ve set up this Global Giving page. Let’s make sure Ruby can finish out these last two semesters once and for all.
Any donation you make will help us to continue our mission of HOPE: to empower, encourage, and equip working single parents like Ruby throughout our community, allowing them to provide a better life for themselves, their children, and generations to come.
Thank you for all you do to continue giving HOPE to our community.
H.O.P.E Founder: My Fight With Breast Cancer
In October I was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.
Most of you were unaware, but not only was I striving to keep providing resources for our participants and to stay alive through a pandemic— but I was also fighting breast cancer.
If you know my story, you know that five years ago I lost my late husband to bladder cancer. It was the hardest time of my life fighting that battle with him. Many of you fought with me and my sons and helped us put the pieces back when he finally passed away.
With the grace of God, after a couple of years, it felt like we were being restored as a family. I’d remarried, had a beautiful baby boy, and H.O.P.E was growing more than ever. I had begun to gain excitement about the future, but that was all interrupted when I noticed some changes after I stopped breastfeeding my son.
I did my due diligence and went to a doctor to check it out (two to be exact), and was told each time that it was probably nothing serious— just me still producing milk. I felt I needed to schedule my annual mammogram to make sure. So, I did. Even the tech that day seemed unimpressed by what I showed her and my concerns. However, further testing and a biopsy would show that my concerns were valid.
On October 6, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Many of you participated in our virtual run around that time and watched me present an award video without any signs of struggle. But I was struggling. I’d come face-to-face with my most feared diagnosis. My grandmother died at 45 from this disease and my aunt passed in her early 50’s. All kinds of things went through my mind, as I kept wondering, how could I tell my boys that we were going through this again? I hurt for them, my husband, and my family. Yet, the show had to go on. We had families that needed us, and if you know me personally, you know that I didn’t waste time feeling sorry for myself.
After several consultations, I decided upon a double mastectomy. I had the surgery last month and just returned to work last week. I am proud to say that I am CANCER FREE and did not require any chemo or radiation. The prescription was a healthy lifestyle. So, some of you may be wondering why I would share something so personal with you?
H.O.P.E trumps HATE
Immediately following the elections, H.O.P.E received two of the most appalling and degrading letters in the history of our organization. In over 11 years of serving the greater Atlanta community, we’ve never received racially-driven hate mail of any kind, so imagine how shocked, hurt, and angry we were when we read what was written.
We wanted to share these letters with you, not to encourage division, but to let our H.O.P.E family know that your continued support ensures that our single parents, who are 95% African-American, can never be categorized as “lazy”, “unemployed”, or “uneducated”.
You have given us and our students the power to combat this ignorance— and the insight to be affected by these incidents only insofar as they fuel our mission and make us even more determined to succeed in this all-important work.
During President Joe Biden’s inauguration, we were reminded again of what it means to be fighting for the single parents raising the next generation of Americans— and no one can explain it better than poet laureate Amanda Gorman in her reading of ‘The Hill We Climb’:
“We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour, but within it, we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves so while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe? Now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be a country that is bruised, but whole, benevolent, but bold, fierce, and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation. Our blunders become their burdens. But one thing is certain, if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.”
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for all the ways you continue giving HOPE to our community.
“For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
– Amanda Gorman, January 20, 2021