Participant Amber Anthony (left) poses with case manager Francie Ekwerekwu and Hudiburg Auto Group car salesman Dave Wallace
Amber Anthony has a new reason to smile. This month, she will begin classes at MetroTech where she’ll be studying to become a drafting and design architectural technician. Amber knew that in order to be a productive student, she would need reliable transportation to make it to class.
“I have been hoping for a car,” she said. “Currently I’ve been taking the bus and catching rides with whoever I can. I’ve been just trying to get where I need to go, but now I don’t have to.”
A lack of resources to obtain housing and transportation continue to be major impediments to successful reentry. Through the generosity of 7-Eleven, Inc., TEEM offers a scholarship program to help alleviate these barriers.
“The scholarship fund rewards responsible behavior,” Executive Director Kris Steele said. “Resources are used to match participant funds up to $500.”
Alexis utilized TEEM’s housing and transportation scholarship program to purchase her first car, a 2005 Lincoln Town Car. Since her time at TEEM, Amber’s numerous successes have inspired and encouraged her peers and TEEM staff. She also left a lasting impression on Hudiburg Auto Group car salesman Dave Wallace, a retired United States Navy Officer.
“I’ve been with Hudiburg for 10 years,” he said. “Mr. Hudiburg has integrity. If he didn’t I wouldn’t work for him.”
Amber had funds available to cover the scholarship match, but fell short in paying the start up costs for her insurance. Just when she thought the deal was closed, Mr. Wallace surprised Amber with a hand-up and offered to pay for her insurance.
“It’s time for me to give back to society,” he said. “I’ve had great fortune in my life and I think other people deserve it too.”
Amber said today was only the beginning. She is expecting great things from herself in the future.
“My story isn’t over yet,” she said. “I’m going to graduate!”