When her spouse of 11 years left, Shari was forced to start over with the very real threat of homelessness. Instead of giving in to this devastation, Shari made the commitment to educate herself and find stability for herself and her son, Kyle, who was in his second year at the University of South Carolina.
Shari participated in The Getting Ahead Family program at East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) funded by Trident United Way. Focusing on financial education classes, Shari developed a business plan to move out of poverty, participated in mock interviews, and received resume assistance to assist her in reaching her goal of financial stability.
Shari was working six jobs at-a-time before she earned her current full-time employment with benefits at Daniel Island Real Estate, and Kyle is graduating in May from University of South Carolina and headed to graduate school.
“The workshop gave me the skills and tools to increase my income and survive,” Shari said.
Djuanna Brockington, Director of Empowerment at ECCO, said, “Ultimately, the goal of this workshop is to teach participants how to plan for a future that will lead to economic independence.”
For Shari, the workshop provided more than just knowledge and resources. “It gave me my self-worth and confidence back. I’ve been in survival mode for so long, and it gave me strength and hope that I needed to cope.”
Now Shari shares her story in hopes of letting others know about all of the resources offered in the community that she was unaware of until she needed them.
“Some people think charity is a hand out,” Shari said. “For me, Trident United Way and its partners gave me a hand up to be able to survive and make it on my own.”