Amanda's Big Dreams
At just 25 years old, Amanda already has lived more life than most people experience in a lifetime. “There were many times when I didn’t know where I would be living from one week to the next,” she says. Amanda first became homeless in 2007 when she was 18 and her mother divorced Amanda’s alcoholic and emotionally abusive stepfather.
At various times, Amanda has lived with an aunt, her father, and a variety of other relatives, all while working and trying to further her education. She had started college around the time of the 2007 divorce, but her financial aid fell through, and she had to withdraw from school.
Earlier this year Amanda enrolled at Roxbury Community College, trying to make a fresh start. Although she worked hard, her unstable living situation made it almost impossible to succeed.
How could anyone juggle sleeping on a diff erent couch each week, living out of a suitcase, and attending classes? “I started missing classes and even missed some finals,” she says. Recognizing her potential, Amanda’s professors tracked her down and helped her complete the semester, but it wasn’t easy.
“I wanted to gain some stability and focus on school, so I came to Pine Street Inn in January 2014.” At Pine Street she found the support of other women who help each other stay on track and move toward their goals.
Now Amanda maintains a 3.0 average at school while working 40 hours a week at a CVS. This semester, she’s taking English, general science, pre-calculus and introductory statistics. Her goal is to be a middle school special education math teacher because middle school is an important turning point: “If you have a bad teacher at this age, you’re turned off from school.”
Amanda is on a waiting list for housing, hoping to have a place of her own very soon. “Most of all, I am grateful for the support that Pine Street has provided me.” The staff have helped her connect to resources, fill out housing applications, and perhaps most important—stay strong.