A Mother’s Journey: Meet Amanda

Amanda was pregnant and homeless when a friend referred to Live & Learn in October 2020. By December, she had found a part-time job and started a Medical Assistant Certification program. She was working hard to make sure she could provide stability to her baby once he came. However, Amanda experienced food insecurity and high stress during the first six months of her pregnancy. Now, she was putting in long days and grueling commutes by public transportation. Her body was struggling as she entered her third trimester. In January, her doctor ordered her on bed rest. She had to take

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On Her Way: Meet Sara

Sara grew up with instability. She was one of four children raised by a hardworking mother who cleaned offices for a living. Sara’s father was abusive, and, though her mother tried to leave him many times, she and the children always returned. “It was living with him or being homeless, so my mom did it for us.” As she grew into adulthood, Sara found herself following in her mother’s footsteps. When her second child was born, she was determined to break the cycle of violence and poverty. She was determined to give her children a better future. The path was

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Success Story: Meet Jamie

Salad and Go will take you in, they’ll welcome you as part of their family In summer 2021, Jamie celebrated her one-year anniversary at Salad and Go, an employment partner of Live & Learn. With the support of Live & Learn and the opportunity at Salad and Go, Jamie is building a new life for herself and her children. Jamie is a mother of six and a domestic violence survivor. She was married to her abuser for many years before fleeing in late 2019. The decision to leave was financially devastating for Jamie, as it is for many survivors of

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One Woman’s Journey: Meet Beth

Beth is a 45-year-old single mother of four children. She was referred to Live & Learn from UMOM as she was transitioning into rapid rehousing. Beth was unemployed, and her UMOM case manager was concerned that she would cycle back into homelessness without Live & Learn. When she came to Live & Learn, Beth’s Client Coordinator noticed it was hard for her to secure employment. Barriers like childcare and transportation were addressed, resources like AZ@Work were offered, but still Beth was not finding employment. After working together and building trust, Beth finally opened up to her Client Coordinator. Beth has

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Success Stories: Meet Ava

By the time Ava heard about Live & Learn from a coworker, she had experienced her share of hardship, heartbreak, and struggle. Ava’s hard work and determination would see her through and allow her to create a brighter future for herself and her children. “What I went through as a kid growing up, I don’t want my daughters to go through that. I want to break the cycle.” Ava grew up in Phoenix, one of six siblings raised by a single mother. “Life was chaotic,” she recalls. Her mother Rose worked hard to make ends meet for the family. Rose

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Success Stories: Meet Margarita

Margarita is from Russia, and she is a single mother of two children. A few years ago, Margarita faced a daunting decision: make her own way in a country where she did not speak the language or return home to Russia. Despite the difficulties ahead of her, there was no doubt in her mind that she would stay in Arizona with her two young children. She would find a way to thrive. In Russia, Margarita held a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She had a good job, wonderful friends, and a supportive family. She married an American in Moscow, and they

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Success Stories: Jocelyne, in her Own Words

With a simple, “I believe in you, you can do it!” Live & Learn helped me more than you would think. I remember the first time I met with Katie from Live & Learn. She asked me what I wanted to do, and I told her I wanted to go back to school. With no hesitation, she said, “Let’s do it!” She had no doubts, she just believed in me. Sometimes, it takes one person to believe in you like that. At that moment in my life, I was in a complicated situation. I was on my own with my

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Success Story: Meet Brisa

By her mid-20s, Brisa had lost hope. She worked hard in everything she did, from school to job to family, but still she could not seem to reach her goals. As happens to many in our community, the very institutions meant to help her were, instead, further destabilizing her and her family to the point that Brisa gave up. Then, she found Live & Learn. With Live & Learn’s help and her hard work, Brisa is now thriving, and she is focusing her career on advocating within schools for change on behalf of children growing up in circumstances like those

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Women Take A First Step in their Careers, Make A Lasting Difference to Children

On a Thursday evening this February, a group of ten women gathered in Live & Learn’s courtyard to celebrate their completion of the Childhood Development Associate Training Program. The women were cheered by their parents, their spouses, their children, and the Live & Learn community. Then, the following morning, these ten women went right back to work at Immanual Care for Children. Ensuring childcare facilities have qualified, well-trained staff brings long-term benefits to the children. In fact, it can be a significant predictor of those children’s success in high school (https://www.naeyc.org/resources/blog/ece-role-closing-achievement-gap). What is a CDA Certification? A Childhood Development Associate

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Homeless Court Forgives Those Trying to Do Better

Elizabeth

As a teenager, Elizabeth and her mother did not have the greatest relationship. At the early age of 17 years old, Elizabeth was no longer welcomed into her mother’s home. She had no choice but to find somewhere else to live. Along the way, Elizabeth face obstacles and make choices that would affect her life negatively down the road, one of them being dropping out of high school. In her mid 20s, Elizabeth decided to turn her life around and began making positive changes as she is now a single mother of two. At the age of 25, she began

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