Last week we hosted the latest Harriet Tubman Change Maker event on “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: New Pathways Towards Equity through Guaranteed Income.” A very special thank you to our amazing panelists—Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, Sarah Stripp, Eliza Novick, and Rohit Naimpally. If you could not attend the event, you can access the recording here (Passcode: *Yxvq33q). We are incredibly excited to be a part of a growing national conversation about guaranteed income and wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the participants in USES’s STEP program!
Paralita grew up in Massachusetts and moved around before eventually returning to Boston. The mother of four was ambitious but said that she struggled to get stable. Her refusal to ask for help strained her relationships. Since then, she learned to say “yes” to others, opening many doors for her, including the door that led her to S.T.E.P.
Quality time for Paralita comes in the form of homeschooling. She homeschools her 10-year-old daughter, and they always eat lunch and dinner together. This year, they took their second vacation ever for Thanksgiving – Paralita and her daughter traveled to see family in North Carolina and then visited the Georgia Aquarium.
With S.T.E.P, Paralita can keep her weekend job without needing to take extra hours while homeschooling her daughter. She has also managed to raise her credit score and plans on using the extra money to go back to school for her Associate’s Degree, the first time in 20 years! Paralita hopes that working on her education will ultimately lead to a higher-paying job. Her long-term goal is to buy a house, but she said, “I have to crawl before I can walk.” For the duration of S.T.E.P, she is working to eliminate debt, increase her FICO score, manage her budget, and go back to school. While these goals may seem daunting to some, Paralita is optimistic. “Kudos to S.T.E.P and the financial coaching,” she said. “It works!”