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Continuing Education with the IDA
by Rose Miller

I had heard of the IDA program when I lived in California so when I saw the flier for the financial literacy course that was required to have an IDA I signed up. Little did I know how much my life was to be affected by the 10 hours I spent with Colleen Stewart. I actually have a BA with a Business Administration minor and through those 10 hours I learned and was able to put into action more tangible life changing practices to build on my financial stability than I learned in my whole degree.

I learned how to make SMART goals and work towards those in order to make purchases that would have been outside of my monthly budget. I began to save up for a cash cushion and was able to continue saving during a period of extended unemployment. Through participating in the IDA I worked on paying off any outstanding debts and cleaning up my credit report. I have now begun to build back my credit. I saved for three months to show that even though I was unemployed I could afford to start an IDA, those funds went into my cash reserve.

I am currently 2/3 of the way to finishing my savings for my first IDA towards an educational goal. I plan to begin another towards transportation as soon as this one is complete. I have registered for and been accepted to an online Master's program and I intend to accomplish that without incurring any additional debt. None of this would be possible without the tools I learned in the financial literacy course and the IDA opportunity. For me both have been truly life changing and I tell everyone I meet about these opportunities. In fact I am now tailoring my future career goals towards community development and supporting increased financial literacy in rural communities because it has had such a great effect on my life.

Rose was helped by United Way funded programs from St. Vincent De Paul in Eugene.