A Profile of Ms. Carolyn T.
Q. Where are you now?
A. I am the proud owner of a 2000 Chevy Impala with 76K miles on it! I am a graduate of Columbus State Community College and I have accepted a job offer in my field making $14.00 an hour! I am coming out of my depression and putting my life back on track. I am excited about life again!
Q. Where were you before?
I am a single parent of four school-aged children. I was afforded the opportunity to go to school and pursue a certification as a Dental Lab Technician. My car broke down and after it was gone my life changed tremendously. Without transportation, I felt trapped, stuck and coming to a dead end. I had no mobility. My children walked with me and carried groceries home. I rode my bike back and forth from school. Occasionally people would help but I lost my freedom. Living on the excess of my educational loans meant that the bus was not an affordable or convenient option. I dropped my children out of their sports activities because I couldn’t get them back and forth. My graduation was nearing and I would need to find a job immediately or lose everything. No transportation, school, children, bills, employment, it was too much. I felt over whelmed and slipped into depression. I took the medication but what I really needed was hope and IMPACT and the Buy Car Program gave it to me.
How did you hear about IMPACT?
A. I got an e-mail from a friend who read an article in “The Columbus Dispatch” about the Buy Car Program. She knew how bad I was struggling and said that this was the perfect program for me.
Q. What was your dream?
A. My dream was to be able to obtain my certification as a Dental Lab Technician so that I would have a better employment opportunity, earn more than minimum wage and take care of my family.
Q. How did IMPACT help?
A. I attended a workshop for the By Car Program at IMPACT. I had never been to a Community Action Agency before. I was a little intimidated but the staff made us comfortable and welcomed us to IMPACT. As they began to explain the program they were able to simplify the process so that we could grasp what was required. I was all ready stressed out and they were calm, confident and reassuring. They took me step by step through the process. I must admit I had my doubts; but as I progressed, my confidence increased and I felt like this was really going to happen for me.
Q. Can you tell us about the transition?
The transition came when I put my money into the program. I saved $1,333.00 which is like a million dollars to someone like me. I sacrificed believing that if I got a car, it would change my life. Being able to contribute my own funds meant that this was not a hand out but a hand up. I helped myself in this process, I am very proud of that. When I got the keys to my car I cried … I felt restored and accomplished.
Q. What was the ripple effect?
A. Transportation was the greatest barrier that I had to my future. The ripple effect is that I am now gainfully employed in a job on my career path making $14.00 an hour! The next ripple is that my children will have the opportunity to learn and compete because I will be able to transport them to practice and we can function as a family for the first time in a long time. They have a mom that they can be proud of and not have to worry so much. I didn’t realize what the domino effect of being without transportation was or how it would affect me but now that I have been to IMPACT, I know about the ripple effect and my ripple is to tell every about IMPACT and how the Buy Car Program helped me. I own my own vehicle… you could never know how that feels. Now I have another chance at a better life for myself and my children, this feels great!