Strive 2 Thrive graduates move forward with confidence

Nakoasha Dillard is a graduate of Strive 2 Thrive and also served as the Mistress of Ceremony for the graduation

Nakoasha Dillard entered Strive to Thrive's program to help better her circumstances, as do many others in low-income situations.

"I'm a single parent and my son is two I'm also in college and I was working two jobs at one time," says Dillard.

Dillard is just one of the man Strive 2 Thrive's graduates in the organizations third class.

"We have such a diverse group this time. It really just goes to show that poverty does not have a single face; it can be single parents it can be a married couple it can be someone who was doing well and lost their job," says Ausha Jackson with Strive 2 Thrive.

Poverty in Albany is a subject that people -- from the public to politicians -- are addressing and looking to help more.

"It's a good thing that poverty is coming to the forefront and people are acknowledging that it is a big problem," says Jackson.

This big problem can be solved with one change of routine according to Dillard.

"Your mindset has to change. If you're still in that mindset of 'well I'm in poverty and well I don't make this much income so no one's going to hire me' then you're going to be stuck in that same rut," says Dillard.

It is that change of mindset that is keeping her moving forward.

"Now I'm working one job but it's barely enough to support me and him while going to school so it's very stressful but I'm determined not to give up," says Dillard.

Lagrange College, Bank of America and Capitol City Bank presented the organization with large donations to help launch Strive to Thrive's Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program. IDAs are special saving accounts in which the funds deposited by low-income families are matched to help them further their education, purchase their first home, or start a business.