Tracie is a divorced mother of four sons between the ages of 14 and 19 years old. She is employed b yan organization helping people with developmental disabilities to lead full lives.
She had always dreamed of being a homeowner but thought that it was not within her reach. Then she heard about RISE through a co-worker and decided to become a Save Up participant. She said that the biggest challenge that she faced as a participant was doubt, but through her faith, was able to overcome it. Tracie has something to be thankful for this holiday season. In October 2014, her family moved into their brand new home.
She said “being in the Save Up Program was a faith builder. Now I feel that I can accomplish anything. RISE is a symbol of me having faith in myself. Learning how to budget and save has helped me to purchase a home. My next goal is to save for my children’s college education.”
Last school year, our Goal Card program reached over 650 students in high poverty schools in Memphis.
We were so pleased to be able to provide the program to students at Melrose High School in the Orange Mound neighborhood starting last school year. Melrose was ranked in the bottom 5% of schools, so Goal Card was a natural fit - the program motivatd students to set goals and work towards them, while improving their conduct, grades, and attendance. We have been so proud to see these students work hard and earn incentives!
Word of our successes reached our neighbors in Fayette County, where the Superintendent invited RISE to start Goal Card programs at each of the junior high schools. We are honored to be invited to work with the students and are eager to work with the students to encourage high achievement!
The graduation rate for Goal Card students is 91% compared to 68% of students not enrolled in the program. This is the end result of students learning to take responsibility for the improvement of their grades, attendance, and conduct, as well as their hard work.
We have been asked to start Goal Card programs in additional schools. We need your support to continue to grow. There are many schools and students who would benefit from an extra boost to help them unlock their potential and achieve even more!
Common Cents is a financial literacy program focused on helping low-wage workers to make better choices in how they spend their hard earned money. Recently the facilitated class was offered to a small company in Memphis and immediately the owner, saw his hourly employees keeping track of their receipts so they could actually see how much money they spent on things outside of their household expenses. To some this may seem like a "common sense" thing to do, but with the invention of credit cards, debit card, etc., purchases are often made with little consideration of how it affects the user's ability to meet essential obligations (rent, utilities, food for the family, etc.).
One of the Common Cents participants, Ricco saw this quickly, when he added up his first set of weekly receipts and saw that he spend over $50 for sodas, chips, cookies and other non-essential items in one week. That $50 could have been used to pay for gas to get him to work each week. So now, thanks to your support of the RISE Common Cents Program, Ricco is watching what he spends by setting up a budget that will allow him to spend no more than $5 each week for items that he can actually do without or bring from home.
Thanks to all who support the RISE Common Cents program and remember, it brings a little" Common Sense" back to money management for folks who really need it like Ricco! Remember with a small contributions to RISE, it will make the difference in the life of one person who really needs it to make their earnings stretch to meet the needs of their family!