Master Your Dream Helps Create Stability
Master Your Dream proudly supports youth in the JIT community who are pursuing post-graduate degrees reach their goals. This past academic school year, 15 participants were able to realize their dream. Today, we share one of their stories.
Brooklyn’s sons were a source of strength and motivation. “I strive to be the mother I needed when I was growing up to my two sons. I want to and will become successful so that my children don’t have to worry about being financially unstable.” Because of her determination, Brooklyn has found stability and opportunity with a full-time position as a Tax Accountant with the accounting firm KBF CPAs.
Juggling studies and parenting was a big challenge for Brooklyn Lopez, a 23-year-old mother of two. During her MBA studies at San Diego State University, her grades declined when she had to step in and care for her siblings. “Whenever I tried to study, I would receive multiple calls from police, doctors, or neighbors informing me that my mother was in trouble. Having to step in and care for my siblings along with my own two sons added stress and anger. I had to dig deep to pull from whatever energy I had left and push through.” Brooklyn proudly walked the graduation stage this month and received her well-deserved MBA degree by persisting in her dream.
“Being able to participate in JIT has been a blessing and not having to worry about purchasing school supplies was awesome and so helpful.”
When she applied to Just in Time back in 2018, she looked for support in obtaining a new laptop. Through JIT’s College Bound and Master Your Dream services, she received not only a new laptop but also $3,000 each school year. “Most of my financial aid went to books, diapers, food, and bills. I had to rip out pages from used notebooks to reuse them. Being able to participate in JIT has been a blessing and not having to worry about purchasing school supplies was awesome and so helpful.”
Recently, Brooklyn helped JIT create a self-filing tax series for foster youth that will be accessible through YouTube. Giving back to the community that helped her in time of need has been one of Brooklyn’s goals.
Reaching her goal of obtaining a master’s degree has not been easy, but Brooklyn faced staying the course and overcame the obstacles to succeed.
The reports of rising levels of anxiety among young people in our society have been sounding alarms for their current and future well-being. Depression, disconnection and a simmering despair seem to have deepened with the pandemic and many believe it may have a “long Covid” effect for years to come.
The reasons vary, from the addictive use of social media, to lessened relationship supports with the growth of virtual connections, and mounting challenges that seem insurmountable in a world heading toward dark dystopia. The latest horrific news stories only heighten free-floating feelings of being powerless and unsafe.
That’s literally the bad news. There is good news.
Last month, I shared how a thriving community celebrates itself and its possibilities. It does not immerse itself in fear and grievance. It builds rather than tearing down. It is brutally honest about its shortcomings while also remaining optimistic about its capacity to be better.
The gift and strength of every new generation is the choice to be in possibility and forge a new path. That’s what I see every day in our JIT community. We continue to build a better world, despite the pull of pessimism. We celebrate how far we’ve come together.
And we continue to share the good news.
–Don Wells, Chief Empowerment Officer