Tiffany, Nate & Natalie
“I wanted to be the first woman in my family to graduate from college and to be an example to my children,” says Tiffany, a 2003 graduate. “Jeremiah Program believed in me. The program did exactly what it said it would do: It filled me with hope, and helped me be a parent able to raise children who are focused on success.”
Tiffany’s family is a testament to Jeremiah’s two-generation approach. Tiffany graduated from the University of St. Thomas and now is employed as an Executive Education Administrator at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. Her daughter Natalie now is a student at Robert Morris University in Chicago, where she has made the Dean’s list every quarter! Her son Nate is in high school and “enjoying all things science” and playing traveling basketball.
But life was far from this before she entered Jeremiah Program. “I was unstable, irresponsible, homeless and full of heartache and disappointment,” she says.
Tiffany found out she was pregnant at the end of her first year of college at St. Thomas University. While she didn’t want to be dependent on her mom, she quickly ended up there. “I was determined to finish college, but it was a struggle to stay focused on my studies while raising my daughter with so many life challenges. I had bills, a car loan, day care expenses. I could never make ends meet.”
A friend who worked for a community organization told her about Jeremiah Program, and soon she got the call that changed her life: She was in! She and her daughter packed up and moved in immediately.
“The program was the anchor I needed to get on track,” Tiffany says. “The staff really cared and wanted me to succeed. If I had a problem I could always run downstairs and chat with them about anything, and if I needed anything they would find the resources to help me. It was like having constant cheerleaders in my corner, not just on good days, but even on the not-so-great days. Jeremiah also offered a sense of community. I was surrounded by a family of women who were also in the same situation as me, which was empowering.”
Tiffany is applying to graduate school to earn her MBA, which she says will provide her with an opportunity to “refocus, challenge myself, learn to manage others, and build a broader network. It’s an investment in myself and an example for my children to keep pushing themselves.”