Success Story: Meagan

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Meagen had hope for the future—and your support helped her dreams come true.

Meagen had big dreams for the future when her life took a detour. Even with limited options and a baby on the way, she was determined to make it on her own.

Meagen found a program that enabled her to earn a degree in business administration while she received public support including food stamps and Section 8 housing so she could make ends meet. Those were four long years of riding the bus every morning with her little girl, Sequoia-Dawn, but Meagen made it through to graduation.

While Meagen had dreamed of owning her own business, she needed help getting it off the ground. Through United Way’s partnership with Ventures, she found United Way’s Individual Development Account (IDA) program. This program helps participants move out of poverty and stay out by investing in a long-term asset like home-ownership, education or starting a business.

Through the IDA program, Meagen learned how small, monthly savings could add up to a large amount over time. United Way also provided Meagen with money management classes, so that she could set a budget and write a business plan. Every dollar she saved was matched three-to-one by United Way’s program, helping her dollars go further.

Today, Meagen is off public assistance and employed full-time. After two years in the program, Meagen made her first significant purchase for her cosmetic business—a logo. This major step and investment allows Meagen to market her products with confidence, and her business is taking off!

“It was hard, and didn’t happen overnight,” she said. “If I have a goal in mind, there’s no quitting.”