Lasting Change

by | June 11, 2020 | Financial Education

At the core of our non-profit mission at Life Happens is financial education. We know that the financial security that comes with both knowledge and action is empowering and promotes freedom and equality. We also know we have a role to play in helping the Black community with financial education and empowerment, and that we can do more. As a team, we understand that this is not an instant change. It’s a commitment. It is a path with no end. And while we continue to create that path for change, there is one thing we do know as an undeniable truth: Education leads to lasting change. The most important step to starting down a new path is the first one. And our first step today is awarding Mya Mercer a Life Lessons Scholarship so that she can continue to pursue her dream of a college education, and ultimately a career in psychology. The Life Lessons program helps young adults who are struggling financially due to losing a parent or guardian who had little or no life insurance receive a college education. Mya’s father built a business and poured his heart and soul into it so he could support his family. But he lost his battle with diabetes and died of kidney failure when Mya was just a young teen. As Mya says, “That really changed my family’s life for the worse. … not only did we lose my dad that day, we lost his income.” She speaks of her family’s struggles, dealing with unimaginable grief, compounded by deep financial concerns since her father was the primary breadwinner in the family: “When you lose someone, you deal with the heartbreak and it’s even harder dealing with how to make things meet.” Here is her story.

We know that a college education can help change the life trajectory not just for students like Mya who receive the scholarship, but for their future families and future generations. That’s why we are committed to ensuring that our Life Lessons Scholarship Program supports more Black students who have lost a parent and are struggling to get an education.

Lasting change in all parts of our organization, not just our scholarship program, needs to be thoughtful, collaborative and for the long term, so here is my email: fstafford (at) lifehappens.org. I’d like to hear from you. I’m here to listen and learn and put our words into action.

Faisa Stafford, LUTCF

Faisa Stafford, LUTCF

Stafford began her career in accounting with several Washington, D.C.-based private technology and real-estate businesses, and made the transition to Life Happens (then The LIFE Foundation) in 2003. She has held various roles within Life Happens, while always being passionate about increasing efficiencies and implementing technology to streamline processes to better serve the industry and Life Happens’ members. She had been Life Happens’ COO and CFO for over 10 years, overseeing operations and finance. In 2020, she became Life Happens’ President and CEO.

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