Texas Mom Sheds Weight and Worries after Choosing Self over Job

“What’s the catch?!” was Nicole’s immediate response when a school counselor at Morningside Elementary school in Fort Worth, Texas told her about the UpTogether Morningside Fund. 

“After the initial ‘what’s the catch’ I looked at it as a blessing,” said Nicole.

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Nicole is all about family. She is the mother of a 9-year-old and also a 29-year-old who now has a family of his own. If that’s not enough reason to keep Nicole in the Lone Star state, you can simply go back several generations to see why Fort Worth is home. Her grandmother purchased a home in Fort Worth while Nicole’s mother was young. Then once her grandmother passed, Nicoles mother bought the house and kept it in the family. 

“It [the house] is one of those touchstones where I can always go back,” Nicole said.

 Prior to enrolling in the UpTogether Morningside Fund and receiving unrestricted monthly investments for a period of time, Nicole was going through financial hardship despite working as a case manager for people experiencing homelessness. 

“I was making pretty good money,” she said. “But I think that UpTogether came at a time where [the] Lord knew I was burnt out.” 

Working hard at her job, Nicole became severely fatigued, which led to problems with her physical health, and ultimately a hiatus from her job. 

“The case manager needed a case manager herself,” Nicole said jokingly while reflecting on how exhausted she was at the end of each workday. 

Though she had savings, Nicole didn’t feel like she could cut back on her job given the economy and her expenses and responsibilities. However, the additional UpTogether cash each month gave her the confidence to choose self and prevent burnout.

“I decided to let go of my job and take a year or two off,” said Nicole while reflecting on being in the Morningside Fund as UpTogether increased her cash investments to $500 a month. 

The money that Nicole received unlocked her ability to take a break from work without worrying about how she was going to pay her car note. It had previously been a big worry for her but the new cash she could spend however she chose added peace of mind. 

“If you’re a mom you know your car is your life. Sports, school, vacations. It’s small to some people but it was huge to me,” she said.

Another huge takeaway from her lived experience in the UpTogether Morningside Fund was Nicole’s ability to go down a few dress sizes. With the time that Nicole took away from work hours she was able to get to the gym on a regular basis and lost 40 pounds. 

“I still have a long way to go but mentally I’m in a much better place,” said Nicole.

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