Driven to Independence

Nov 23, 2020 | YOUTH STORIES

As a child, Amariah bounced in and out of foster care before ending up in a loving foster home as teenager. She was fortunate to be able to stay with her foster family even after she turned 18.

It was around the same time that Amariah connected with Just in Time through an Independent Living Skills worker. She felt welcomed instantly. One of Amariah’s goals was to get her license, which she did through Changing Lanes. Next up was her goal to save for a down payment on her first car!

Just in Time was introducing a new service called Auto Access that helps youth obtain reliable transportation at affordable rates. Amariah was the first JIT participant to achieve her dream of driving away in a car of her own, a 2004 Camry she named “Rico”.

“I remember I test drove it and as soon as I got in the car, I was like ‘this feels nice! This is my car!’” shared Amariah.

Unfortunately, Rico the Camry got totaled in 2019 and Amariah was without transportation once again. She resisted becoming discouraged; she knew her Auto Access advisor, Cori, was on her side. Amariah paid off what was left on her 2004 Camry and sought Cori’s help in securing a new car, a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid she calls “Shady”.

“Cori was able to advocate for me to get another loan,” said Amariah. “Getting in that accident and totaling my car was a blessing in disguise since I was able to upgrade to this car that I have now! And to this day, Cori is someone I can reach out to. I definitely feel like I have a backbone, a family and a community at Just in Time.”