2014 started off rough for me..In December of 2013 I lost my job right before my two year anniversary there. I was a community health educator with a university and cancer center. I spoke to women about breast cancer and I encouraged them to get a mammogram. Community and education have always been so important to me. I was devastated when I lost my job, considering it had been a very rough year for me financially. I worked very hard to provide for my daughter as a single mother, she’s my top priority, needless to say losing my job was very scary. After losing my job, I listened to Joel Osteen. I needed some encouragement. I was having issues with Unemployment. I was behind on all of my bills, all of our clothes, keepsakes, my degree everything was in a storage space that was auctioned off because I did not have the money to pay. I was ashamed, I did not tell anyone that I had lost all of my things and most importantly my daughter’s things because I could not pay. It was very scary and I found it hard to be in good spirits for my daughter. As I was listening to Joel, He says “Sow a Seed in your time of need.” This stuck with me, instead of continuing to feel sorry for myself, I decided to get out in the community who had given me so much. I collaborated with my friends and family and decided to celebrate my birthday differently this year. Instead of going out to dinner or a club, I told them to make a donation to the Neighborhood Services Organization Bell Building. We were able to feed, clothe and provide haircuts to at least 30 residents of the Bell Building. It felt so good to give back! It felt so good to forget about what I had going on in my life and to help someone else. A few weeks later, I received some amazing news! It has always been a dream of mine to pursue a PhD in Maternal and Child Health. I am very interested in improving the health of women and their babies through research and community engagement. I received a phone call asking me to come to Maryland for an interview. I took the last little money I had to take the trip. I interviewed with six people. I received an acceptance email a few hours after my interview. This was a dream come true for me! I was finally able to pursue a dream. God had truly blessed me!! I am so grateful that he has given me the desires of my heart. Not only was I accepted but I received a fellowship the first year that covered my tuition and fees, provided insurance and gives me a small stipend for living expenses. After the first year my department agreed to pay for three years. So I have four years of fully funded education to pursue my dream of earning a PhD. I was grateful! So grateful! I started to look into moving, I then realized that the cost of living in Maryland is more expensive than Michigan. I was already struggling to make ends meet here at home. I did get a job, but after losing my job for that time I fell behind on all of my bills. I paid what I could but it has been so hard trying to play catch up. So as I am experiencing this financial strain, I had decided to decline admission to the program at the University of Maryland. I don’t have the money to get there, nor pay my security deposit for a place for myself and my daughter. It has been very hard to share my story..maybe it will help someone. But I am reaching out to those who can relate, who is a woman, who is the head of her household, who cares about others, who has goals and who is a proud mother who is encouraged to provide and instill education in her daughter..If you aren’t like me, maybe you know someone like me. Please help me to get to Maryland so that I may pursue a life long dream. Thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to read my story. Anything is much appreciated!