Financial independence is freedom. When you can take care of yourself, and your child, you realize you’re happy and you can choose who you want to be with. You don’t ‘need’ a man.

— Katie

Meet Katie

Katie was in an abusive relationship, and she felt trapped. On her own, she wouldn’t have the resources or income to take care of herself and her son. She lived with anxiety and fear, she lived in danger. Her partner told her constantly that she was worthless, and she believed it. Then one particularly bad day, Katie saw that it wasn’t just her life, but her one-year-old son’s life that was in danger.  She felt she had no choice. One day in August 2016, in the middle of the night, Katie silently packed her suitcases, she took her son, and she fled her abusive partner and her home.

Initially, Katie and her son were able to stay with her parents, but only temporarily. She urgently needed to figure out how she could support herself. She knew she needed to find a way to become economically independent. She needed to go back to school.

While exploring her options at PIMA Medical Institute, Katie was referred to Live and Learn. She applied and was accepted into the Live and Learn Program, which allowed her to enroll in PIMA’s Medical Administrative Assistant certification program. She started taking classes, and, by the summer of 2017, Katie had an externship at an endocrinologist’s office that turned into a full-time position. Now, Katie really enjoys her job, she is earning more than ever before, and she is able to support her son.

Of her experience with Live and Learn, Katie says:

“It just immediately felt like it was all meant to be. Live and Learn seemed too good to be true at first, but the emotional and financial support they provided are what made this all possible for me. I’m a happy person again. When I was stuck in an abusive relationship, I was just a shell of the person I used to be. But now, I’m refreshed. I’m working harder than ever, but I’m so happy. And being around all these other women who all have their own struggles that we’re all overcoming together, it just finally feels like it’s all going to be okay.”

Plans for the Future

Katie plans to pursue an Associate’s Degree to further her career and her economic prospects. However, she says, “Since Live and Learn helped me get on my feet so I could go through PIMA, graduate, and get this job, now I’ll be able to support myself to go get my Associate’s.”