“Before starting Focus: HOPE’s ITC program, I was unemployed for three and a half years, depressed and unable to make ends meet or care for a one-year old in my life. I had to move back in with my mother where because of spacing, I had to sleep on the floor of my mom’s living room for those three and a half years. Hard ship after hardship, I decided to work hard at turning my life around and attended a job fair at COBO Hall that introduced me to Focus: HOPE’s ITC program.
Focus: HOPE changed my life. It provided with me with the necessary skill set, opportunities and resources needed to pursue a higher education and better my future. Because of Focus: HOPE, I am in my senior year of the Information Management Systems Engineering program at Wayne State University and working as a Badge Analysis at Ford.
Since my education requires most of my time, I am only allowed to work a total of 20 hours per week. My mother has supported me as I pursue an education but all of the money I make goes directly to tuition, doctor’s appointments, medications, food and to a 1-year old that I help take care of.
I am not worried about the time or the work I have to put in to finish my last year of college, I am worried about the costs. I have completely used up my financial aid and myself, nor is my family in a position to pay the rest of my tuition. Once I have my degree, I will be able to secure a good paying job and give back to the people in my life. “
“After high school, I joined the Army and was sent to the Desert Storm. As a Desert Storm Veteran, I returned home with just a high school degree and got a job in production at Chrysler. During Chrysler’s large lay off, I took the buyout and was unemployed for a year.
I signed up for Focus: HOPE’s ITC program because I knew I needed to make a positive change in my life. Because of Focus: HOPE, I am in my senior year of the Information Management Systems Engineering program at Wayne State University and currently work as a Strategic Business Analysis for Ford Motor Company. Because of the intense educational program, I am limited to work only 20 hours per week.
The income I am making goes directly towards all of my bills and even then I can’t seem to make ends meet. My water was recently turned off and I just had a double hip replacement. I was able to get a double hip replacement because of the Veteran’s Association, without that, I would not have been able to do so. Even though I am supposed to be resting, I am back at work because I need the money to keep lights on, get my water back on and keep food on my table.
There have been many times when I wanted to give up school and start working full time, but I know that it will pay off in the long-run. I have no money to pay for my tuition and have used all of my financial aid.
Once I graduate with a Bachelor’s degree, I will be able to give back to those who have helped me and my family.“
“Before coming to Focus: HOPE, I was working in a manufacturing site, wasn’t making enough money to support myself, had little opportunities for promotions and did not like what I was doing.
I was struggling financially and knew I had to make a change. I signed up for Focus: HOPE’s IMSE program and immediately felt a breath of fresh air. I was able to get the training I needed before enrolling in higher education and get hands on experience during my program. I am an Analyst at Ford Motor Company because of my training at Focus: HOPE.
I am in my junior year at Wayne State in their Information Management Systems Engineering program. Due to the essential training at Focus: HOPE and program studies, I am only able to work 20 hours per week. All of my income goes directly towards my rent, food, insurance among others.
I have used up all of my financial aid and have no means to pay for the last two years of my schooling. I struggle with the decision to get a full-time job and stay stuck, or stick it out for a couple of more years, get the education I need and live a successful life in my field of choice. I know that when I finish the program at Wayne State University, I will be able to support myself and give back to those who helped me.“
“I was working as a part-time pressure washer, not going to school and did not see the light at the end of the tunnel. My older brother went to Focus: HOPE almost 10 years prior to me, he ended up working for General Motors before he moved out of state. He urged me to go to Focus: HOPE and get the chance at some great opportunities.
I am married with 4 children, going through the training at Focus: HOPE and in my senior year at Wayne State in their Information Management Systems Engineering program. Because of Focus: HOPE, I am an intern at Ford Motor Company. All of my income goes towards my family and keeping food on the table.
I have used all of my financial aid and either will have to quit school and get a full-time job to support my family, or figure out a way to finish my schooling. Once I graduate, I will be able to support my family and give them a stable and fulfilling life."
“I have a two-year old daughter that gives me the drive to become my best possible self. Before joining Focus: HOPE, my daughter and I were living with my Aunt and her adult son, I was working at Wendy’s and we made ends meet through my aunts disability, cash assistance and food stamps. I knew that this is not the life I want for my daughter or family.
By coming to Focus: HOPE, I was able to get a stable job as an intern at Blue Cross Blue Shield and am now an intern at Ford Motor Company. The internships do pay, however, because of my extensive education programs, I am only able to work a maximum of 20 hours per week. All of my income goes towards my family, rent, basic needs, books and more.
I am in my senior year at Wayne State University and just need financial help to make it to my graduation ceremony. I have used all of my financial aid and the income I do get, will not meet the high tuition costs. Once I graduate, I will be able to stabilize my life and focus on my daughter, family and career. I will be able to give back to my family in a way I have always dreamed of."
“Once I finished high school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do or even how to realize what I wanted to do. My uncle went through Focus: HOPE and is now a very successful engineer. I knew it was either take the opportunity with Focus: HOPE, or stay where I was at, some mediocre job with no growth potential.
I currently live with my parents, am going to school full-time at Wayne State University, working as many hours as possible and still struggling to pay all of my bills on time. I sometimes think it would be better to quit school, work full-time and be able to move out, however, I know that path would lead me down a path I don’t want to be on, long-term.
I have used all of my financial aid, cannot take out any more loans and do not have any means of financial support that relates to paying my tuition. If I can get the last year of schooling funded, that would mean I can graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University, something I have always dreamed of.”
“Before coming to Focus: HOPE, I was unemployed and didn’t have the right skill set in my field of choice to be qualified for open jobs in our communities. I was always interested in computer design and saw a flyer in a super market for Focus: HOPE’s programs. I started going through necessary training with Focus: HOPE and saw a change in myself and the potential I actually have. I went through numerous training programs to get as far as I have. I am in my last year at Wayne State University, but due to the fact that I have been in school too long, I am not qualified to take out any more financial aid or loans. I wasn’t going to school full-time, which is why it has taken me longer. I have 2 kids and a wife to support, it was essential that I was able to work during all of my training. My father-in-law and mother both passed away not too far apart from one another, so again, I had to cut back on some of my credits to make time for necessary changes. Once I graduate with a bachelor’s degree my life will not only change but also my families. I can’t wait to get my degree and have my kids grow up knowing how hard I worked to achieve it to give them the best life I had to offer.”
“Once I graduated high school, I jumped into working right away. I was working as a janitor and after some time, knew this is definitely not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My brother went to Focus: HOPE and is now very successful. Once I started the programs at Focus: HOPE, I saw how much education and the right training could better my life. I worked hard to get this far into my bachelor degree program and need a bit of financial help to graduate. Once I graduate, I will definitely be an advocate for Focus: HOPE, Detroit and everyone who helped me and/or needs help themselves.”
“I worked so hard to get this far into my education program. I’ve went through numerous training programs at Focus: HOPE, only have 3 classes left until I graduate from Wayne State University and I work 2 jobs. I support my family and needed to be able to work full-time while I was going through school, which is why it took me a bit longer to graduate. If it wasn’t for Focus: HOPE, I would not be where I am today and will be forever grateful for their programs and organization. Once I graduate, I would love to be an advocate for Detroit, for all people of Detroit and help those who are struggling.”