Our Stories: Ronda

I want to tell you about a program that has changed my life, the STRIVE of NC Program. This program is made possible by United Way of Pitt County.

I received the opportunity to go through the program in 2003. At that time, I was receiving public assistance from the state. The assistance included food stamps, work first, daycare assistance, Section 8, and Medicaid. I had 2 children and was a single mother. My highest level of education was a high school diploma. I had a very hard time finding a job and did not know why. I used excuses like my race, being “too real”, or “I keep looking but, there are no jobs out there.” I was less than motivated to find a job.

When I entered the program, it changed my life. Through addressing the common issues of being tardy to the job and at job interviews, as well as my attitude, the program gave me a reality check. It put me in my own face and gave me the tools needed to deal with very tough issues. My self esteem was rebuilt and I was pointed in the right direction to set goals and strive to do better for myself and my children.

As a result of entering this program, today I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, a Master’s Degree in Administrative Leadership, I am no longer on public assistance, and I am currently employed at a job that I have held for 9 years.

This program has impacted my life and the lives of so many individuals who at one point could not see a way to success. Without United Way of Pitt County and STRIVE of NC working together, I would not be where I am today!

~ Ronda E., mother, graduate of STRIVE of NC, Pitt County resident