Marissa's Story

Marissa's Story

Marissa’s dream is to help struggling parents and change the community. Her plan is to launch a nonprofit organization that provides resources, support groups, and family supports. But she knew that in order to help her clients make progress in their lives, she had to make progress in her own.

Marissa is a single mother of two children, aged 7 and 8. When she joined Level Up last fall, she was stuck in a full-time job that she hated and that didn’t pay her enough. She lived paycheck to paycheck. Her children were having difficulty in school, both academically and behaviorally. Marissa committed to helping her children. She left her full-time job and picked up several part-time jobs that gave her the flexibility to instruct her children and finish her Master’s degree in Social Work.

United Way cares about the whole person.

This was a frenetic pace. She was financially strapped and under heavy academic and family pressure to succeed. In February, she was at the end of her rope, and our Family Career Navigator, Talisa Rogers-Hall connected her to mental health supports.

United Way believes in Level Up clients

Through talk therapy and self-care, Marissa regained her focus and her balance. She listened to Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman podcasts and took small steps toward financial freedom. She purchased life insurance. This May, she told her story of growth and change as Participant of the Month during the Level Up meeting.

United Way is her accountability partner.

She graduated with a Master’s degree in Social Work in June, and  has a full-time job waiting for her at the nonprofit where she completed her graduate internship. Her next goals include the soft launch of her own nonprofit organization in August 2020. Financially, she plans to work on reducing her student loan debt and increasing her savings.

By supporting the work of Lake Area United Way, you support the dreams of people like Marissa. By investing in them, you are investing in your community’s well being and development.