If you ask Desiree what her “why” is—she would tell you that it all started with a pair of shoes.
As a child, Desiree faced numerous adverse childhood experiences. By her early 20s, she had already experienced homelessness and was a single mother to four children. Without a car, she relied on public transportation to get to work to provide for her family. One morning, she found herself looking down and admiring the shoes of the other women on the bus. That day, she set a goal: to own her very own beautiful pair of shoes. This small goal—to afford a nice pair of shoes—was a catalyst for Desiree to seek out assistance programs to help her move from surviving to thriving.
Today, Desiree is a participant in Aspire, United Way’s mobility-mentoring® based program for ALICE—Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed—individuals. She is able to set smart goals, budget and work with Meredith, her personal coach, to create a brighter and more self-sufficient future for herself.