Erica is a 38-year-old single mother to two daughters — 16 and 20 years old — living in Woodstock, Georgia. Unable to support her family with the salary of a hospital tech, she decided to pursue a nursing degree at Herzing University in Atlanta. Juggling school, work, and parenting, she struggled to keep up with her finances and responsibilities. However, after discovering H.O.P.E. Inc. and becoming a participant, Erica was able to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.


After moving from New York to Georgia to seek a better school system for her children, Erica was working as a hospital tech. However, the pay for her job was far less after moving, and she found that it was growing more difficult to afford living for her family. “My mom was a single mom, so I had seen her struggle, and it made me work harder,” Erica says. “Coming to Georgia, the pay was completely different. I struggled a lot living here, being a single mom.”

Even after working multiple side jobs, Erica found herself renting rooms out of her home to help pay for rent, something that she gradually grew more uncomfortable with as her daughters got older. Knowing that something needed to change, she decided the next best step was to get her nursing degree. She went back to get her GED, then associate’s degree — the only one out of her four siblings to attain either — and then started her nursing program at Herzing University.

Client Situation

As Erica continued to study for her degree, she found that it was difficult to maintain her usual work schedule. She was working 12-hour shifts and then having to knock out her pre-reqs and course requirements. It was exhausting and not sustainable, and she was starting to see her studies slip through the cracks.

Erica began to believe that she wasn’t going to make it through nursing school after all when she learned about H.O.P.E. Inc.’s program for single mothers earning their higher degrees. Looking into H.O.P.E.’s requirements and what the program had to offer, she decided to take a chance and apply.

“When I discovered H.O.P.E., I remember telling my advisor, ‘Oh my goodness,’” Erica says. “It was the best thing. I was going to have to stop going to school before I found the program.”


Through H.O.P.E., Erica received $400 a month for rent assistance, meaning that she would no longer have to keep renting rooms out to strangers in order to sustain her housing. Beyond that, H.O.P.E. came alongside Erica to help support and meet her and her daughters’ needs, whether it was supplying Christmas gifts for her children or helping cover the costs of groceries and school supplies when finances got tight.

“A lot of times, I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Erica remembers. “I would get into a bind, but then H.O.P.E. would come through. As a single mom, it was the best thing ever for me. H.O.P.E. really helped.”

Beyond the financial assistance, H.O.P.E. was able to provide Erica with encouragement and counseling that helped her stay strong when times were tough. “It felt like family,” she says. “With Danielle, Kenita, and Jason, and all the help I got, it was such a blessing to me. I would tell anyone who is struggling to try the program.”

Erica was able to overcome the challenges she faced, graduating from Herzing University with her BSN in May of 2024. Now, she is studying for her NCLEX, excited to see what the future holds. “I never thought I would look at myself and say, ‘Wow, I finished it,’” Erica says. “I didn’t think I would sit here and tell you I came to the end because it was so rough at times.”


“I thought the light would never come, but now I want to help other moms the way that H.O.P.E. helped me. Women who are going through difficult situations — I want to tell them to keep going. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel after all.” (Erica, 2024 Graduate)