A story of perseverance and triumph

Ana Paula was determined to achieve her goals, despite all of the barriers preventing her from doing so. Lack of reliable transportation began to take a toll on Ana as she diligently worked to secure proper employment. “I was walking several miles to and from work every day while I was pregnant,” Ana said. She heard about Greenleaf Family Center’s Auto Loan program when she enrolled in the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program with Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority in 2006. As she actively worked to further her skills in the FSS program, Ana enrolled in several other programs with area non-profits, including Greenleaf ’s Auto Loan Program.

“These programs were designed to help individuals become more self-sufficient. Ana achieved all of that and more.”
Bob Sukel, Financial Services for Families Program Director

After Ana was approved for an automobile loan from Greenleaf, she was able to secure reliable transportation, which, in turn, opened up other opportunities for her family. “We were able to get on our feet and move on to our next goal,” said Ana. She enrolled her sons in developmental services and special education classes and successfully secured employment with Bridgestone Firestone. Ana’s next big goal was was to work toward purchasing her first home.

In the meantime, Ana’s FSS Escrow account began to grow as she became more self-sufficient. She worked hard to budget and track all of her expenses while participating in the Project Success Program, where she saved $7,740, all while paying off her Greenleaf auto loan.

Within a five-year period, Ana Paula would double her earnings, save over $33,000 through FSS, pay off a car loan, and purchase her first home.

“One of my biggest accomplishments while in the FSS program was obtaining a car loan through Greenleaf Family Center’s Auto Loan Program” said Ana. Shortly after her graduation from the FSS program and fulfilling her auto loan obligations, Ana was invited to join the Greenleaf Family Center Auto Loan Committee, where she helped make lending decisions for individuals applying for the same loan that Ana applied for a few years before.

Ana credits her success to Bob Sukel, the auto loan program, and other community programs she participated in. According to Sukel,

“It’s all about people helping themselves. That’s what it’s all about.”

Ana has made it both a priority and a tradition to give back to the community every year with her children by cleaning litter on the streets and sidewalks in her neighborhood and by visiting the residents at the local nursing home on Valentine’s Day. “We make Valentines for the residents. The residents love it and so do my kids. We look forward to it every year.”

“I was offered a great opportunity to be a part of a team that helped me once,” says Ana. “Someone helped me, now it’s my turn to help someone else.”

Although the auto loan program has since been discontinued, we invite you to learn more about our Financial Services for Families programs.