When their single father passed away from cancer, Amanda and her four younger siblings entered foster care. At just 16 years old, she was placed in an unhealthy foster home filled with drugs and alcohol, and little food or resources.
Determined to make a change, Amanda left at 17 to go to college, obtaining her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA before moving to San Diego. With nowhere to spend the holidays and no community, Amanda was invited to JIT’s My First Home for the Holidays event. As she shared, “Little did I know was that my life was going to be changed and that for once in my life, I felt like I had a community rooting for me to be the best version of myself, and who made me believe I could be anyone I wanted to be in this world.”
One of several JIT services Amanda dove right into was Financial Fitness. She admitted that at the time, she had little knowledge on how to manage money, didn’t know what credit was and had no savings account. Like many former foster youth, she was in survival mode, living paycheck to paycheck. All that changed with Financial Fitness. She learned how to responsibly pay off her car, how to take advantage of her work’s retirement plan and stock options, how to build savings and an emergency fund, the psychology behind her spending habits and so much more. And she used her savings matches to do something she never imagined was possible: help put a down payment on a home for her and her now-husband!
“I was able to stick to my budget, take on a second job for more income, work on building my credit and pay off my car so that we would qualify for a home loan,” said Amanda. “I never thought that I would be able to buy a condo without Just in Time, not just because of the matches but because of the significant education and life skills I gained to be able to get there.”