Helping Neighbors: On The Road To Self-Sufficiency With Assistance From F.I.S.H.
“Since 7 years old, I have wanted to be self-sufficient and secure. Living with both parents and two younger brothers, I certainly felt I was well on my way. We didn’t ‘live large’, as they say; both my parents worked two jobs, maintained a modest home that we rented for years, and managed to keep me and my brothers out of trouble. Having just graduated high school, I was living at home while working full time on Sanibel to save for school. I was so excited to begin my journey to becoming an RN!”
David, quoted above, first became involved with FISH when his father had a stroke. With his father longer able to work, David had to put his dreams of becoming an RN on hold. During that time, David began working two jobs, helping his mother manage the household, and keep up with the bills. Through this demanding time, however, David never lost sight of his long desire to be self-sufficient. As difficult as it was, he held his head high and enrolled in part time night courses. “I had to keep my eye on the prize, so to speak. I want to be an RN more than anything, so I found a way to keep my head in the game,” says David.
Through rehabilitation, David’s dad has recovered with minor impairments, and can now work part time hours. Now realizing how one medical emergency can become a major household setback, David has set his sights on yet another dream; home ownership. Not knowing if this was even a possibility, David turned to FISH for resources. He attended all of the FISH sponsored budgeting and financial management courses. He received community referrals from FISH on real estate and financing sources. After much research and assistance from his entire family, David and his family closed on their off-island home in late October.
David still continues to work on Sanibel while pursuing his RN degree. He is about half way through, getting good grades, and enjoying the stability of having a family home where he, his parents and brothers can live and take care of each other. David is one determined, proactive young man; he has already set up an appointment with FISH to discuss adult continuing education scholarships, should he fit the criteria.
“Everyone at FISH was so supportive of me, my family and my dreams. They helped me understand how to make those dreams a reality and pointed me in the right direction toward something I’ve wanted since I was 7 . . . self-sufficiency and security.”