Amanda Petrone

“A year ago, I was wondering, what am I going to do? What's my next step? Now, I don't worry as much.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt its fair share of challenges, especially for Bristol resident Amanda Petrone. When she was laid off from her job due to the pandemic, Amanda struggled to find a way to provide for herself and her son Aiden. Bills began piling up and there was no way to pay for them. Amanda’s car was unreliable at best, adding to her stress. She was beginning to feel hopeless and depressed.

Amanda and her son had been enrolled with People Incorporated’s Early Head Start and Head Start for a few years. Her family advocate noticed the change in Amanda and referred her to the agency’s new Whole Family Approach. The Whole Family Approach is a pilot project funded by the Virginia General Assembly to provide families like Amanda’s with one-on one coaching. The program helps families set and reach their goals, moving them into the economic mainstream and towards a brighter future.

Amanda connected with the program’s family coach, who loaned her a car. For the first time, Amanda had safe and reliable transportation to work. Amanda quickly rose through the ranks at her job and has recently been promoted to a managerial position. Amanda’s family coach encouraged her to open her first checking account and she learned how to budget.

Today, Amanda has an emergency fund for Aiden’s unexpected expenses and is saving up to buy the car People Incorporated loaned her. Amanda has received not only financial support through the program, but someone she can trust and call on, which has made a huge difference. She is finally able to set goals and work towards the future, instead of worrying about how to get through each week. She no longer needs some of her government benefits and is preparing for a stable future by growing her savings. And finally, she’s back to smiling again.

To learn more about People Incorporated’s Whole Family Approach pilot, click here.

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