Victoria's ASPIRE Success Story
Victoria entered DCYF care when she was a young teenager and was placed with her grandparents until she aged out of care at 18. Victoria then joined the YESS aftercare program which allowed her to continue to live with her grandparents while she is a full time student at CCRI and works part time at Dunkin Donuts. She was connected to the ASPIRE program through the National Youth in Transition Database survey at age 17. At the survey visit, Victoria signed up for upcoming Financial Education classes and completed the classes within the next month. In these classes, Victoria says she learned about how to save money, open a bank account, and how credit cards and interest work. Victoria specifically recalls learning about the difference between needs and wants and how that awareness can lead to increased savings.
After completing the Financial Education classes and opening her ASPIRE Individual Development Account (IDA), Victoria was determined to save up for her goal of purchasing her first car. Upon receiving her weekly paychecks, Victoria would immediately deposit as much as she could into her IDA while budgeting the rest for her other expenses. In less than a year, Victoria was able to save $1,000 in her IDA that she then matched, dollar for dollar, towards the purchase of her first car.
With her own car, Victoria is better able to manage her schedule and commute between home, work and college. She says that she feels happier and more independent because she knows she can rely on herself to get where she needs to go. When talking about the program, Victoria states “if it wasn’t for the ASPIRE program I wouldn’t have been able to get my car. I also learned about being independent and doing things for myself.”