BREAKING THE CYCLE OF GENERATIONAL CHALLENGES
Pregnant and uncertain about how she would provide for her first child, Jessica knew she had to find help. She wanted to provide a better life for her children than what she had growing up.
A determined and strong-willed individual, Jessica knew that she needed to build a better foundation for her family. Doing something as challenging as this is always easier said than done, so Jessica looked for resources in the community that could help her.
“Emotionally, I just wanted to give up. It was like everything was on me; the spotlight was on me,” Jessica said. “I was just overwhelmed.”
It was during this difficult time that Jessica discovered United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County’s Dual Generation Initiative.
The Dual Generation Initiative answers generational challenges by coordinating with United Way’s community partners to find solutions for housing, education, child care and employment. By removing barriers in these problem areas, we can enable parents to create successful and solid foundations for their families.
“My hope for the future is to know that I built the foundation for my children to have a better
life when they get older,” Jessica said.
After Jessica was connected to services provided by United Way’s Dual Generation Initiative, she started her journey toward the successful life she has today. She was connected with a tutor to help her secure her high school diploma. Jessica knew she couldn’t stop there and decided to go to college.
“Having kids and going to school is very, very hard,” Jessica says. In order to pursue her degree, Jessica needed child care that was affordable and reliable. She needed a place that she could trust with her children while enabling her to go to school at the same time. That’s when Dual Generation connected her to the child care program at Ella Austin Community Center. The affordable child care she discovered enabled her to focus on her career and studies.
“The main thing was making sure my kids were safe so that I can go to work,” Jessica says. “Then going to work led to paying bills, so it’s like a little step ladder.”
Now with two children ages six and four, Jessica has built a stable foundation for her family. She is a young professional with a vibrant career and attends Texas A&M – San Antonio. She credits the help that the Dual Generation Initiative gave her as being a big factor in how she got where she is today.
“They helped me with financial empowerment. They helped me build my credit, they helped me with food, clothes and child care.”
United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County invests in services that help individuals like Jessica disrupt generational challenges. This is accomplished by giving people the tools they need to achieve greater stability and fulfill their potential. The Dual Generation initiative provides assistance with workforce training, child care, housing, education and employment. Most of all, it means people like Jessica are providing a brighter future for their families.
“Being with United Way, they give people hope,” Jessica says.
“I feel like everything stopped at me. Now my children get to be older and can do whatever they want to do. And I’m so grateful for that.”
Watch Jessica’s story on our YouTube playlist.