Tonia: Taking the Torch

Tonia: Taking the Torch

Tonia: Taking the Torch 150 150 Ivy Marsnik

Tonia was pregnant with her second child when she was struck with the news that her two-year-old would need extra help if she was to talk before kindergarten.  Tonia’s doctor referred Tonia to Way to Grow.

The Way to Grow Family Educator began to visit Tonia, working to overcome the numerous barriers she was facing as a single mother. Tonia was connected to housing, clothing, food shelves and preschool resources. Once her family’s basic needs were met, Tonia shared one of her greatest goals: to be the first person in her family to graduate from college. At the time, it seemed impossible. However, anyone who meets Tonia can attest to her strong will, sharp wit and determination.  Minneapolis Community and Technical College proved a perfect match.  Tonia thrived and soon her once lofty goals became a reality as she earned her Associate degree. Tonia moved on to find a place to call her own and in rewriting her own story, created a brighter future for her children.

Fifteen years later, Tonia returned to Way to Grow to guide and support families like her own.  “My story is no different from the families we help today. I decided to take the help and support, and turn it into something beneficial for my family. I wanted to change my circumstance, but didn’t know how until a Way to Grow Family Educator showed me.”

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