Way to Grow Alumna Receives Full Ride ScholarshipWay to Grow Alumna Receives Full Ride Scholarship https://waytogrow.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/WTG-Jacqueline_027-scaled.jpg 2560 2048 Ivy Marsnik https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/ab576c09797e9f9d67fd5ff51d64d1d7?s=96&d=blank&r=g
When Jose first made his way to us, his mother, Jacqueline, had recently migrated from Nicaragua and was living with her mother-in-law. Things didn’t work out, and soon Jose, his sister Shania, and mom found themselves with nowhere to go. Jacqueline’s friend told her about a program in Minneapolis doing great things. That program was Way to Grow.
“I picked up the phone, and I called right away,” Jacqueline shares. “The next morning, we got in the car while it was still dark outside. We drove for over an hour, straight to Way to Grow.” Little did she know then, the decision to pack the car that day would prove to be a turning point for the family.
When they arrived at Way to Grow, they met their Family Educator and were connected to resources to stabilize their family. Through these connections, Jacqueline was able to find housing and furniture, food and clothing, and a quality school for her two young children. Her Family Educator also began home visits to help Jose enter kindergarten as prepared as possible.
Jacqueline smiles thinking back to those early years as she pulls out a photo. “This day was one of the proudest days of my life,” she says looking down at Jose’s Way to Grow graduation portrait. “That was the first time I had ever pictured my kids in a cap and gown.”
Today, Shania has received a full ride scholarship to Northwestern University where she just completed her freshman year. Her hope is to graduate with a degree in occupational therapy and to one day buy her mother her first house.
Jose is a high school student at Hope Academy. With a 4.0 GPA, he is a soccer player, a track star, and a Way to Grow alumnus. He continues to work hard, sometimes falling asleep at the table while doing homework late at night. Jose shares, “My Mom always fights in life. She has always kept us together and works so hard to support us. I am so thankful for all of the opportunities I have been given in this life here, because of her and what Way to Grow did for my family.”
It is inspiring to see our Way to Grow alumni making an impact within their family and in their community. We will never know all the lives that Jose, Shania and Jacqueline will touch. However, we can be confident that our work has had a return that was worth far more than that early investment.