by Rocio Alegria, WANDA Graduate 2020

In 2013, I had lost my mother due to lung cancer and I was raising my 1-year-old-son on my own without child support. I went through a period of grievance, loss, and depression for a few years. I became aware that I needed financial advising, emotional support, and a support group that I could identify with as a single mother. Prior to joining WANDA, I was planning to attend Arizona State University to earn a Master’s degree in Social Work, but I knew it was very expensive. I was working as a case manager for a non-profit institution then, and hardly making it through. I wanted to pursue my education by applying to a master program that could lead me to better job opportunities. That was my dream!  When I learned that WANDA had a matched savings program for education, I contacted them immediately. I was so excited to know that someone cared about single moms and about their future!

WANDA is a unique program that focuses on helping single mothers and motivates them to be the best they can be. I loved all of the classes, especially the ones that encouraged you to believe in yourself and to dream big. These classes empower women to reach their dreams and goals. I feel really blessed that WANDA helped me so much not only at the emotional level but financially as well. 

There is no other program like WANDA, and I love to encourage other single moms like me to sign up for this wonderful experience.  I have learned about financial literacy, how to better organize my time (and procrastinate less!), and to believe in myself.  I truly believe that WANDA works to help single moms become successful and to reach their potential. I graduated in August 2021 with a Master’s degree in social work, and I am currently looking for a job in the mental health field. My next goal is to become a clinical social worker and to serve my community in need. Thank you so much WANDA for this unique opportunity!!