Roadmap to Success

Earning a master’s degree in Christian psychology in the summer of 2018 is just the latest step on a path of self-reliance that Shavonne, who owns and runs her own child care business, started more than 10 years ago.

That is when she first turned to the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) Achievement Academy’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program to help her develop a roadmap to success.

“When I first came to the program, I was working, but I wasn’t really working a really good, stable job to be able to pay to support my family,” the mother of three said.

Receiving federal rental assistance at the time from SDHC, Shavonne took classes through the FSS program to earn a Family Child Care Home License, which enabled her to open her child care business.

“It helped me obtain goals toward the bigger picture. Within the FSS program, it lays out a map, so if you’re not exactly sure about what you want to do, it kind of guides you—‘OK, let’s start here’—and then it builds from there,” she added.

She stopped receiving rental assistance, went on to buy her own home with help from an SDHC program, and earned associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.

Today, Shavonne often volunteers to speak to current SDHC Achievement Academy participants about her experience achieving her goals and advancing out of the federal rental assistance program.

Shavonne said sharing her story is a way of giving back for the support that she received from SDHC staff along the way.

“When you have people saying you’re doing a good job, and they’re cheering you on, and they’re giving you information or resources to be able to be better, to me that’s like a really big thing. It really builds your self-confidence to really be better,” she said.

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