Erica's Story: Realizing Your Full Potential

“The program helped me realize my full potential and helped me achieve my goals. They supported me every step of the way.” - Erica

Before Erica enrolled in United Way’s Mothers Making More program (M3), she faced obstacles every day. She struggled to shoulder her responsibilities as a single mother, while also going to school.

Despite these challenges, Erica graduated from Westmoreland County Community College in 2015 with an associate’s degree in liberal arts. She wanted to take the next step in her education, but didn’t know how to balance her many roles and duties.

“I knew I wanted to further my education, but was uncertain how I could make that possible,” Erica said.

A few months later, she learned of M3 and the many ways the program could help her achieve her goals.

Soon after, Erica applied and was accepted to Seton Hill University’s Adult Degree Program and received an M3 scholarship that greatly reduced her tuition rates. As she pursued her degree, M3 remained a steady resource. When Erica’s 10-year-old vehicle made it difficult to get to class, M3 helped with the inspection, repairs and tires. M3 staff gave her moral support during times of family stress and M3 group
meetings gave her an opportunity to network and socialize with other women facing similar challenges.

“M3 helped shape me, [it taught me about] balance, time management and self-proficiency,” Erica explained. “The program helped me realize my full potential and helped me achieve my goals. They supported me every step of the way.”

M3 also helped Erica afford her summer 2016 tuition, so she could graduate on time. Erica received her bachelor’s degree in human services in May 2017. “I walked my graduation with the honor of being an M3 participant,” Erica said. “If not for M3, I most likely would have not succeeded to this level.”

Prior to earning her degree, Erica was working as a receptionist and clerk at a nonprofit organization. Now, as an intake counselor for a human service agency, she will increase her income by 65%.

“I am proud of who I have become, and what I am taking with me.”