Charlotte had been recommended to our Teens Climb High program at the beginning of 6th grade by her school counselor because of challenges she faced in her home situation and at school. At the end of her seventh grade year she applied for and was selected to be a Peer Leader for her final year in the program. In this role she attended weekly group sessions, assisted in teaching the sixth and seventh graders and planned events for the group as a whole. The younger girls and her fellow eighth graders looked up to her as a leader in the program.
Charlotte’s developing leadership has been recognized in other venues as well. In summer, 2010, she was selected to attend the “Discover the Leader in YOU Leadership Camp.” Following that experience, she was recognized for her outstanding leadership in September 2011 through the United Way of the Greater Triangle’s Women’s Leadership Council. In addition, Charlotte has been involved for four years in the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate program, and attended the Duke Young Writer’s Camp in summer, 2012.
A 2012 graduate of Teens Climb High, Charlotte’s initiative and hard work have been an inspiration to others participants and leader in the program. Program leaders are confident she’ll be a leader and an asset in all her future endeavors.
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Maria had always dreamed of buying her first home, but was burdened by debt. Her Disability income was not enough to pay the bills for herself and her nine children. Referred by a local housing organization to Compass Center for Women and Families, Maria soon joined the Financial Coaching and Support program. With other participants she attended weekly financial workshops for two months then each met individually each quarter for a year to chart their progress with a financial counselor. Each participant was invited to place an empty frame on the wall at home and envision their completed picture. Maria was inspired by this challenge, and learned and developed new financial skills, and, perhaps more importantly, identified her own beliefs about money, changed her behavior patterns and was able to share her journey with the eight other women participating.
Fifteen months later, Maria has established an emergency fund, is putting two kids through college and has commendable savings for a down-payment on her first home. Even better, her children are learning from her grit and determination to make smart choices around money for themselves as well. “I wish I was using Compass Center a long time ago,” Maria told us recently. “It really, really helps. If I didn’t have Compass Center, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have that belief in myself.”
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