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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Success Stories: Meet Odette

Despite many obstacles, 22-year-old Odette has accomplished a great deal: a promising career, two beautiful children, a close family, a comfortable home. From the moment Odette came to Live & Learn, we knew her hard work and determination would take her far. As a child, Odette moved to AZ from Mexico with her family. “Our parents loved us so much, above all they sacrificed so we could do better than they had.” At 15, Odette became a Dreamer under DACA. New possibilities opened up. Odette graduated high school with honors, determined to go to college. Odette enrolled in Mesa Community

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A Survivor’s Success Story: Meet Jonia

“Most of all, I wanted so bad for my kids to have a dad and grow up in a family.” As a young adult, Jonia’s determination to create an ideal family for her children led her deeper and deeper into an abusive relationship. With the support of Live & Learn, Jonia eventually realized that a different life was possible. Once she realized that, there was no stopping her. Jonia was raised by a single mother in Phoenix. She did well in high school and immediately enrolled at Phoenix College. At 19, she had her first child. The demands of caring

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Success Story: Meet Celeste

Celeste grew up in foster care in Phoenix. When she was 18 years old, she moved in with a boyfriend who abused her emotionally, physically, and sexually. That same year, she had her first child. The abuse continued, but Celeste lacked the self-confidence and the resources to leave. It would take another pregnancy, the help of Live & Learn, and her realizing her own strength before she would change her life. At age 22, finding herself pregnant a second time, Celeste experienced “a feeling of responsibility for my children that made me realize I had to make a better life

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Success Story: Meet Erika

 Erika is a Dreamer: she immigrated to AZ from Mexico with her family when she was fifteen years old and lives in Phoenix under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA allows Erika to stay in the country without fear of deportation, but it bars her from many opportunities enjoyed by citizens, including financial aid for school. Despite her limited legal status, Erika is a hard-working mother who, as a Live and Learn client, is determined to make a better life for herself and her children. When Erika’s family first immigrated to Arizona, they shared a tiny apartment with another

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Success Story: Meet Carrie

Success Story: Meet Carrie In 2013, after watching her youngest sister pass away from cancer, Carrie devoted herself to the study of natural medicines. She had one goal: “To really bring healing and comfort to people in a way that conventional medicine often cannot.” Carrie threw herself wholly into her pursuit, sacrificing everything else and working tirelessly for six years to earn her medical degree. It was a long, hard journey, but one Carrie believed in deeply. Carrie sacrificed a great deal in order to study at the Southwest School of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ, one of the only

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Success Story: Meet Shekinah 

You won’t meet a more driven 21-year-old than Shekinah. In January 2018, she became a Live and Learn client and entered the TOTAL Career Pathway (Training on Technology and LifeSkills). This program is offered by Live and Learn in partnership with YearUp. For 7 months, Shekinah took classes and worked part-time. Then, in August, she began a prestigious internship with Bank of America. She gets up every morning at 5am to catch the bus to her internship, and still works on the weekend to make ends meet. With Live and Learn’s help, she’s getting closer to realizing her dream of

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I Met Hope Today

In 2015, Jamie M. found herself living in her car with her three children. Though she worked fulltime at a small funeral home outside of Phoenix, AZ, she was earning minimum wage and receiving no benefits. Jamie had grown-up in poverty, and she was determined to make a better life for herself and her children. Through her 20s and into her 30s, obstacles and adversity seemed to catch Jamie at every turn. By the time she was single and living in her car, she had started to lose hope, wondering with increasing desperation whether she would ever lift her family

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A Survivor’s Success Story: Meet Jaymie

For 13 years, Jaymie lived in an emotionally and financially abusive relationship. She could see the effect it had on her two children, and she wanted desperately to leave for their sake. Without support, though, she returned, “cycling back” to the violence she so desperately wanted to escape. Then, in 2017, Jaymie was accepted into Live and Learn, where she has received the emotional and financial support she needed to break the cycle of violence, gain financial self-sufficiency, and heal herself and her children. Jaymie remembers her teenage years as a difficult time. Her father passed away from cancer. She

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