EWE Spirit Grant Recipient Story:
In the spring of 2023, Alaina received wonderful news—she’d been accepted to her dream college. Within months, though, that dream was in danger of being shattered. Her family’s landlord kicked Alaina, her mother and her three siblings out of their home for having a pet they weren’t supposed to have. They immediately applied for other subsidized housing, but nothing was available. And the local shelters didn’t have room for a family of five.
Local emergency assistance programs helped the family pay for several weeks of hotel stays throughout the summer, but sometimes those funds didn’t cover the gaps. That’s when Charting Careers stepped in. The nonprofit organization’s primary purpose is to mentor and inspire youth, providing life-enriching opportunities to help them succeed long-term. Its team had worked with Alaina and her siblings for years, providing resources and support to help them achieve goals like this dream college acceptance. This summer, the team saw the need to step in and offer even more basic support. Charting Careers paid for two weeks of hotel stays to prevent the family from ending up on the street. They also provided clothing and food numerous times when Alaina’s mother wasn’t able to get to food pantries.
As the end of the summer neared, Alaina was faced with a decision: Should she put off college and stay with her family to help them through this tough time? Again, Charting Careers stepped in. While continuing to support her mother’s pathway to more secure housing, they set Alaina up for success in college by helping her obtain tuition, housing and food scholarships and also supplying clothing, dorm supplies and more.
“Alaina and her family are an important part of our Charting Careers family,” shared the organization’s executive director, Erin Snell. “They are dedicated, hard-working and always willing to help others. We are grateful to have them as part of our village and so thankful to the EWE Spirit Foundation for helping us be able to invest in this deserving family.”
This is just one of many dreams Charting Careers has kept alive since its founding in 2018. The organization serves more than 450 students, parents and caregivers per year in Annapolis, Maryland, through its after-school, long-term mentoring, college/career-readiness and community-impact programs. One-hundred percent of its high school seniors have graduated, received scholarships and gone to college. Whether it’s connecting families to mental health services, taking students on field trips to inspirational places like the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C., helping them find summer internships and jobs, or introducing them to role models like Maryland Governor Wes Moore, Charting Careers transforms lives while also serving as champions for equity.
The EWE Spirit Foundation recently gave Charting Careers a $5,000 grant to cover emergency expenses for cases like Alaina’s family. Geoff wanted everyone to have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. We’re proud to be helping Charting Careers make that happen.
Note: The client’s name in this story was changed to maintain privacy.