Casey, a single mother to a well-mannered, two year old boy named Boone, has a college degree and a Masters in dietetics. After working as a dietician for a few years, Casey decided to pursue her dream of going to medical school to become a doctor. She knew she would need a biology degree in order to apply, so she enrolled at the University of Kentucky. Casey was pregnant with her son, Boone, and was facing a difficult journey to make her dream a reality. Casey needed help, so she moved into One Parent Scholar House, a local nonprofit that relies on funding from United Way of the Bluegrass to provide affordable housing to single parents enrolled in full-time, post-secondary education.
Housing assistance and having a support system around her were very important elements to what she knew would help her become successful in following her dream. At One Parent Scholar House, Boone was able to go to daycare in order to keep the costs of childcare to a minimum for Casey. Even though Casey had received help with housing and childcare expenses, she was concerned about entering into medical school with student loan debt, as she knew she would have to take on a significant amount of debt in medical school.
From One Parent, Casey heard about United Way’s Back on Track program, a matched savings program where the money can be used for a small business, higher education or a down payment on a home. Casey enrolled in the program and used the money she received from her tax return to be matched. This allowed her to completely pay for her tuition in the fall semester due to her participation in Back on Track.
When asked about her experience in the program, Casey said, “In the end, the reward of paying off a whole semester of tuition was wonderful. Anyone can easily save $30 a month that is then doubled.” Now, Casey has graduated and recently found out wonderful news. She had been accepted into medical school at the University of Pikeville where she will be able to pursue her dream of being a physician.
While Casey and Boone will greatly miss the friends and support system they have built at One Parent Scholar House, they are excited for this new adventure in their life and being able to begin without a mountain of student loan debt. This is just one example of many that illustrates the positive influence United Way makes in the Bluegrass. United Way can help make dreams a reality for a person in need with your support.