Melissa immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. Melissa is the mother of two children. In 2018 the family fled domestic violence and started receiving services at HAVIN, the only Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Center located in Armstrong County.
Melissa and family faced many barriers in their journey to a life free from violence. Safe and affordable housing is often hard in rural communities. Transportation is next to non-existent. Finding appropriate employment without transportation and easy access to childcare can provide additional stressors. Melissa has always done her due diligence in seeking and utilizing all resources available prior to reaching out and asking for support. She received funding from the Bartko Foundation to help assist her with gaining access to a reliable and safe car for her and her family. This vehicle opened up new avenues for Melissa and shined a light in areas where there seemed to be darkness. Melissa was able to widen the areas to seek and obtain affordable housing. This expanded her employment opportunities and she was able to acquire a better paying job. She looks forward to continuing her education as a nurse in the near future.
Melissa is without a doubt an amazing woman who has achieved many self-determined goals. We, at HAVIN, have been fortunate to witness her beautiful journey.
In Danielle’s words... ”I was a recipient of the Bartko grant which was applied to my education at Duquesne University. Around the time of my application submission, I was a new single mom of twins, who lost her job, her car, and her hope in many aspects. However, the Bartko Foundation supported my economic, educational, social, emotional, and physical well-being by providing a way for me to stay in school. To this day, I am so grateful for that award. That award served as a line of support for me to, in return, support my community.
It is my life mission to
serve my community, and the Bartko Foundation helped support my passion. With
the opportunity to continue my education, I also wrote a book in the process.
'Scenes from a Single Mom' which is an anthology from single mothers who tell
their stories of tribulation and triumph.
With the support
from the Bartko Foundation, I was able to start my own consulting business, G.O.A.L.S.
(Getting Over Adversity to Live Successfully), which serves disadvantaged students
and families of Pittsburgh Northside by providing holistic
resources and opportunities to
overcome adversity to live successful lives. With the support from the Bartko
Foundation, at the end of 2023, I can confidently say I will be referred to as
Dr. Danielle King, Ed.D and my title will be used as a passport to open doors
for my children and my community, like the Bartko
Foundation did for me.
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