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.
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)