More time together has been the greatest benefit the Lugo family has gained since Foundation Communities nominated them to be Austin American Statesman Season for Caring recipients. Those selected are provided with funds from the community to improve their lives.
Among the items the Lugos requested were clothing, assistance with rent and utilities, and help providing piano lessons for Andrea and drawing lessons for Giselle.
Prior to being chosen, Mirtha Lugo was working two jobs and was away from home at least 50 hours a week. Receiving rental and utility assistance has allowed her and her daughters the opportunities to pursue their goals.
Mirtha Lugo left her homeland of Paraguay after a failed marriage led her to become estranged from family. Because they didn’t approve of her divorce, she was left without resources. She moved to the United States and worked cleaning houses for years. She eventually met her daughters’ father, but the relationship didn’t work out.
Lugo struggled to make ends meet, and her desire to become a citizen seemed unachievable until she was able to save the $800 required, and last fall she passed the exam.
Now, with two daughters in high school, she wants her children to be able to achieve their dreams.
Season for Caring wrapped up on Jan. 31 and in the short time since receiving community support, Lugo and her two daughters, Giselle and Andrea, have gained resources to successfully pursue their ambitions.
Andrea, a sophomore, is already thinking of college. Her mother has started contributing to a college savings account on her behalf. Andrea has started taking advantage of Foundation Communities College Hub program, which will prepare her for completing applications and applying for scholarships and financial aid.
Giselle, a freshman and gifted artist, is being encouraged to take advanced art classes. Her art teacher says she is her best student. Photography is also a passion for Giselle and she will soon receive a digital camera.
Meanwhile, Mirtha Lugo started taking ESL and computer classes, in addition to learning to sew. She is completing a financial coaching program and has opened an Individual Development Account with Foundation Communities. This will allow her to save money over the next six-months and her savings will be matched!
Today, Mirtha is radiating positivity. She is filled with excitement and gratitude about her family’s future and the possibilities that await.