Hope and Opportunity

I was downtown the other day and saw some kids from the university walking in their caps and gowns heading to grab a meal. May is truly graduation season. The scene brought back memories of my own college graduation many years ago. I remember the way I felt knowing that I was starting a new phase in my life. I was excited to be finished with school but a little scared about entering the job market with no experience.

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Asking for Help

It’s hard to ask for help. I know firsthand the angst, sometimes shame, fear, and anxiety it can cause. All these varying crippling emotions can sometimes lead to inaction. Relatable? But it’s important to remember that reaching out for a supporting hand can be the first step toward creating positive personal or community change.

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Pay Yourself First

Growing up I knew there were many places where I could spend the money I earned from my various jobs. I also knew I would have to be a big contributor to my education due to my family’s financial circumstances. Early on I understood the concept of paying yourself first. I have my mother to thank for that.

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Embracing Community

I recently traveled to Kansas City, my hometown, to see my family that still lives there and to celebrate my niece who will be graduating this month from Mizzou in nursing. My family home is not the same after the loss of my dad, who passed away after the 2015 holidays. But my mom, who is in her upper 70s and losing sight in one of her eyes, decorated her home for the holidays and enjoyed having the company.

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Getting You Right Side Up

Have you ever heard the phrase, “upside down on your car loan?” This means you owe more on your loan than your vehicle is worth. For example, if you have a loan with a $17,000 balance on a vehicle that only has a market value of $13,000, you have negative equity, meaning you’re $4,000 upside down on your loan.

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