Helping Single Parents in Larimer County, Colorado
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Letter: Give a hand up to parents in need

By Stacy Plemmons

Shelley’s mom died when she was 11 years old, and her father passed away just a few years later. Suddenly Shelley was on her own. To make matters worse, the day she graduated from high school, she learned she was pregnant. Her longtime boyfriend was fun, but it didn't take long to realize he wasn’t long-term partner material, so it was Shelley and her young son vs. the world, and the world was winning. Minimum wage jobs weren’t keeping the two afloat, and the water was rising.

Fast forward to 2014, when Shelley discovered Project Self-Sufficiency. After a screening process to make sure she was ready to accept the responsibilities of a Project Self-Sufficiency participant, she was accepted, did her career assessment, and identified her dream to teach elementary education. Shelley’s adviser helped her find scholarships to study elementary education and she found a job with a property management company. Quickly recognizing Shelley’s communications skills and work ethic, the owner advanced her to a management role even though she remained part time. Now Shelley is a full-time student, a full-time mom, and part-time manager.

Like most Project Self-Sufficiency parents, Shelley did not need a hand-out; she needed a hand up. She got it, made the most of her opportunity, and in two more years, she’ll be a professional teacher. She has an amazing 7-year old, and over her career, she will make a difference in the lives of so many 7-, 8-, 9-year old’s, etc. My only wish this Christmas is that we could help a thousand more Shelleys. My wife and I made an investment in Shelley’s future and consider it the best possible investment we can make in our own community.

To learn more and invest in another Shelley, visit http://ps-s.org and please consider establishing a monthly donation for 2017. The ‘gift that keeps on giving."

Stacy Plemmons, Fort Collins