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.”
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)