Ditrie achieved her family’s goal.

Ditrie, a single-mother of two energetic elementary school-aged boys, wanted to have a place of their own, with a backyard where the boys could run, play and be safe. She enrolled in the program in May of 2015, and her journey with RISE began.

“I made this a family goal,” she said. “The kids knew from the beginning that we would have to change our spending habits to save money for our new home. It wasn’t hard because everybody was on the same page and we didn’t see it as a sacrifice.”

She credits RISE for teaching her to develop a working spending plan and learning what she needed to do to repair her credit. The family closed on their home on March 27, 2017. Since then, Ditrie has used her RISE funds to install a security door and ceiling fans throughout the house.

Cheryl started her own business.

As a single mother of three, Cheryl learned how to do machine embroidery to inexpensively personalize her children’s clothes and had become quite good at it.  Friends and relatives saw her work and started asking her to personalize their items too.  

Cheryl initially came to RISE with the goal of purchasing a vehicle, and during a Save Up workshop she happened to have a sample of her embroidery and shared it with the group. Finally, someone spoke up, “You should start your own business!”  Her Save Up classmates encouraged her to think about stitching her asset goal to micro-enterprise and the rest is history.  

Cheryl enrolled in a partner agency’s micro-enterprise training, and wrote her business plan.  Once she reached her savings goal with RISE, she obtained her business license and purchased her equipment to officially start her business, Elegantly Embellished. 

“I had always dreamed of becoming a business owner and never thought that I would have the resources to make that dream a reality,” she said. “RISE has shown me that if you acquire the knowledge, put your knowledge into action, and be persistent, your dreams and aspirations can come true.”


Time is hard to come by for almost everyone, especially Ms. J.

Ms. J had a demanding job during the day and served as the sole protector, mentor, peace keeper, cook and maid for her six children at night. Prior to entering the Save Up program, Ms. Jackson was forced to put the brakes on driving when her car quit. “My transmission stopped working and bills were piling up. The car was impounded and I couldn’t afford to pay the impound fee or get it repaired and had to just leave it there.”

Ms. J had to depend on family and friends for her transportation needs. “The program staff taught me how to be more responsible as far as my savings,” said Ms. J. “People don’t really want to be bothered with your problems. You have to be more responsible so you can take care of yourself.”

After a year and half in Save Up, Ms. J was finally able to purchase a car. “It was a wonderful day. It was a relief, after months and months of frustration over transportation.”

Tracie’s homeownership dreams came true.

Tracie Simpson, a divorced mother of four sons ages 14-19, saw a lifelong dream come to fruition when she closed on a home of her own. A Department Tech at SRVS, which serves people with disabilities, Tracie spends her workdays shuttling clients to and from doctors’ appointments. Although Ms. Simpson always dreamed of becoming a homeowner, she never believed homeownership was within her reach – that is until she heard about RISE through a coworker. Tracie enrolled in the Save Up Program, which teaches participants how to create a budget based on their personal income and expenses, and how to obtain and improve their credit scores and credit reports.

“Being in the Save Up Program was a faith builder,” said Tracie, who moved her family into their new home in 2014. “Now I feel that I can accomplish anything. RISE is a symbol of me having faith in myself. Learning how to budget and save has helped me to purchase a home. My next goal is to save for my children’s college education.”