Leslie Shaw has raised her two grandchildren with food to eat, clean clothes to wear and a roof over their heads, so she never considered herself poor. But she knew that she wanted more out of life for her family.
As a resident of Legends Park, formerly Dixie Homes public housing project, Leslie enrolled in the first "Getting Ahead" class offered through Memphis HOPE so she could make a better life for her family.
Leslie said, "The class has actually taught me that my situation and my living condition is something that can be changed." With a new home and a new support system, she was ready to begin a new journey.
Her first step was to make changes at home. She's always read to her grandchildren, but now she reads more. Her 10-year-old grandson must now read two books a month, and do a report on one of them , in addition to his school work.
After helping her family, she started to dream for herself. The "Getting Ahead" class fueled her determination to return to school and her vision to be a social worker. Deciding to make that dream a reality, Leslie applied for and was recently awarded scholarships from The Tennessee Economic Council on Women and the Southwest Tennessee Community College, where she is now attending. She can't wait to start having contests with her grandson for the best grades in school.
Thank you for your support of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis. Together, we have helped change the life of Leslie and other low-income families in our community.
As we reflect on 15 years of success, our role in moving women out of poverty and into long-term economic stability is one of our greatest achievements. Joined by our donors, the Women’s Foundation has invested over $12.6 million to enable women and their families to realize their goals and become economically self-sufficient.
We have created a new model of supportive case management for over 700 former public housing residents through Memphis HOPE and, just this year, granted $612,000 to 33 programs. Together, we are breaking multi-generational poverty.
Building on demonstrated success, we are expanding our Memphis HOPE model to transform the Cleaborn Homes public housing development. We are the first Women’s Foundation in the nation to lead philanthropic investment for this new model of service.
Please help us continue our journey of success by renewing your investment with a gift or pledge today.