OUR STORIES / Participants

Finding the Strength to Push Beyond

When you first meet Ambrosia, her intelligence, discipline, and dedication to her family become immediately apparent. Graduating in the top ten of her high school class, she was ready to excel in college when she got the surprise of her lifetime– she found out she was pregnant with her son. “That changed my life,” Ambrosia recalls.

That didn’t stop her from chasing her dreams. She worked her way through college as a single mother, and even got permission from her professors to allow her son to come to class with her. But she had no financial support. “I didn’t know how I was going to do anything, where I was going to live… how I was going to make it.”

After her son was born, she had to move out of the dorms and find affordable housing. When she found the perfect place to start a new chapter as a family, there was only one thing that was missing: the funds for a security deposit.

“I made an appointment at EFAA and learned about all of the different resources available to me… I started coming to EFAA to get help with a deposit, but over the years I become more involved,” said Ambrosia. “EFAA helped to start a new foundation for my family. It’s been a big step to ending the cycle of poverty.”

Knowing there was a wealth of free resources available for people in situations like hers, Ambrosia started to realize she could make a difference by connecting her friends and family with these services.

“It helps my sense of being to be able to find support when I need it, and to provide support or pass along resources when others need it.”

That’s why when someone told her EFAA was putting together a participant leadership group, she knew that she would fit right in. The Participant Advisory Council (PAC) is a new working group at EFAA whose mission is to empower the EFAA community to transform lives through developing participant driven initiatives and involvement. “I feel like PAC has the potential to be life-altering,” said Ambrosia. “I think we will impact the immediate community in a way that no one thought was possible.”

As for Ambrosia and her family, she was able to finish her degree after eight years of hard work and dedication. Now, not only is she diligently trying to advance her own family’s well-being, but she’s helping others in the process.

“I have found the strength within myself… to push beyond and move myself out of poverty.”