Norfolk, VA, November 2, 2023: On October 19th, over 700 professional women gathered for the United Way of South Hamptons Road (UWSHR) Women United Luncheon.
The event featured participants in Aspire, a partnership between UWSHR and Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia (CCEVA) that uses dedicated mentors to help women move out of poverty. Aysia and Angelica, two CCEVA Aspire clients, spoke of the importance and value of their mentors who guide and encourage them towards self-sufficiency to ensure their financial, professional, and personal success. Both women have increased their income and credit scores significantly and are working to become debt free.
Aysia, emphasized, “The balance of accountability, access and support has made the biggest impact on my family.” As mothers, these women understand their children observe and emulate their actions. “My son,” she continued, “I see him reaching for his goals at 7 years old because he knows that I’m reaching for the things that I want to do.” In the 7 months Aysia has been in Aspire, she found a new job, increasing her annual income by $45k, paid off her car in 2 months, and will be debt free by the end of November 2023.
Angelica shared that the Aspire program’s comprehensive approach provides necessary resources and holds her accountable. Angelica has increased her credit score by 110 points and enrolled back into school. Angelica strives to be the best version of herself stating, “having a resource to help gain goals, achieve financial literacy and stability makes me the best I can be for my children.”
This past year, CCEVA Aspire clients successfully achieved 170 of their set goals, marking an impressive 83% success rate. Eighty percent of the participants increased their credit score by an average of 77 points. Since being in the program, two Aspire participants earned their Bachelor’s degree, one earned a professional certification, and one is on track to graduate with her Bachelor’s this December 2023.
CCEVA serves more than 7,900 local families annually, providing parenting support, offering mental health counseling, providing financial assistance and education, Guardianship services, and programs to aid seniors. Ninety percent of clients live at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
CCEVA’s Mission: Grounded in faith, Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia serves all, providing professional services, and inspiring hope. Learn more about Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia and its programs and services at www.cceva.org.