Hard Work Pays Off
Meet 2015 Recycled Rides Recipient Danielle Goodwin
BY JEN PAVKOV | PHOTO BY DEBRA S. KAPLAN
The Women’s Fund of Omaha will again present a deserving woman with a “Recycled Rides” vehicle at this year’s 25th Anniversary luncheon on Oct. 15. Recycled Rides is a national awareness program, sponsored by the National Auto Body Council, in which body shops repair and donate used vehicles to families in need. Nonprofit agencies in the metro area nominated local women that they felt would benefit from having a vehicle.
A Women’s Fund of Omaha committee selected Danielle Goodwin as this year’s recipient. Danielle is a 26-year-old single mother of two young children—Durrell, 3, and Noelle, 1. Currently, Danielle’s only mode of transportation is borrowing her mother’s car. When her mom’s car is not available, Danielle has to rely on friends to give her and her children rides to and from work, school and child care. Many times Danielle is left with no choice but to walk long distances, children in tow. This has restricted Danielle’s ability to adequately provide for her family, of-ten leaving her to buy only the groceries she can carry and limiting her education to online courses.
Danielle was nominated by the Financial Hope Collaborative program, housed in Creighton’s Heider Business College. The Financial Hope Collaborative has helped Danielle by teaching her financial self-sufficiency. In the past six months, Danielle has met regularly with her financial coach to develop goals and create accountability. During this time, Danielle has paid down her debt and built an emergency fund. In paying down her debts, she became eligible for Section 8 housing and moved into her own home in July. She has been improving her credit score by keeping up with bills and managing her cash flow.
“Danielle realizes she needs further education in order to change her cur-rent economic status. Without a college degree, she will not be able to provide financial stability for her family or achieve her career goals. “Up to this point, Danielle has taken most of her courses online,” says Julie Kalkowski, executive director for Financial Hope. “To continue working on her degree this fall, Danielle will need to attend some of the classes in person.”
Danielle has been working as an administrative assistant for Omaha Public Schools since 2013. This fall she returned to OPS as a school and family behavior support interventionist. She is attending UNO full-time, work-ing on her Bachelor of General Studies degree, focusing in the areas of non-profit administration, gender studies and Spanish. Her long-term goal is to pursue a master’s degree in counseling and ultimately a doctorate in Behavioral Science.
Danielle will be awarded the keys to a 2007 Saturn Aura Oct. 15. The vehicle was donated by State Farm Insurance and has been refurbished and repaired by Don & Ron’s CARSTAR Body Shop, located at 5329 S. 70th St.