Years ago, EFAA helped provide Ambrosia Berg with a security deposit to embark upon her new chapter as a mother. In March 2021, she met Senator Bennet as a representative of EFAA’s Participant Advisory Committee and told him about her experience raising her son on limited income. He was so impressed by the single mother that a few weeks later, he invited Ambrosia as his special guest to President Biden’s virtual Joint Address to Congress on April 28th .
Twelve years ago, Ambrosia was a hardworking high school senior, on pace to graduate in the top ten of her class and excel in college. As she headed to University of Colorado the summer before starting her freshman year, she received the surprise of her lifetime — she was pregnant with her son.
That did not stop Ambrosia from chasing her dreams. By tapping into her own strength and determination, she completed her undergraduate degree in Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences and earned a certificate in LGBT Studies in eight years – all while working and raising her son. Today, Ambrosia is actively involved in shaping EFAA’s policies and programs through the PAC, and she is busy preparing her son for middle school.
The power of Ambrosia’s story is sending a ripple through our community, state, and nation. Before the President’s televised speech, Senator Bennet interviewed Ambrosia to discuss her experiences as a single mother and hear her thoughts on the Child Tax Credit bill that he helped sponsor.
“I felt honored, heard, and appreciated to be his guest. It’s a testament to my own strength and what I’ve pushed myself through within my life: from growing up in poverty experiencing violence, food insecurity, and housing instability, to being a single parent living in poverty while providing a safe, steady environment for my son. The reality is that I have gotten ahead in a ‘just getting by world’. If not for resources like EFAA and other programs in Boulder, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Ambrosia’s family, along with many others across our community and country, will benefit from the one-year extension of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) under the American Rescue Plan. The expanded CTC is projected to cut child poverty in America by nearly half in one year. It will lift 57,000 kids in Colorado out of poverty and benefit over 1 million kids statewide, including nearly 350,000 kids who had been left out of the full CTC prior to the American Rescue Plan.
Advocates are now urging the Biden Administration to take the next step and make the CTC permanent. This continued support would give families like Ambrosia’s more money each month to cover bills, buy groceries, make sure children have appropriate school supplies, and help meet critical basic needs to make it through the pandemic.
“When I was getting my college degree while raising my son, everyone told me that I was going to use my voice to do great things in the world. Today, I see that I have become that voice of truth, power, and change. Being part of my communities, including the queer community and deaf community, I have heard so many stories and experiences that I carry with me. I understand the world in a different way that I want to share with everyone.”
This story is part of EFAA’s Strategic Education efforts, seeking to raise awareness of issues, such as the CTC expansion, impacting the most vulnerable people in our community so that we may work collaboratively to create local solutions.