I am currently a researcher with the Letters Foundation, and I started as an Application Specialist. Being a part of the Foundation assists me with remaining humble and grounded. It’s easy to excel in life and lose focus on the difficult journey that was traveled, or forget the extended hands that provided help along the way. I know struggle. I know being ashamed. I know the fear of not being able to provide. I know the fear of being too proud for handouts. It wasn’t that long ago that I stood as a high school dropout, homeless, a young single mom, with limited ability to provide for my family. I was able to obtain stable housing, complete my degree, and secure employment as a senior manager. None of this would have been possible for me without the extended hands of others. Volunteering my time to assist an applicant is the least that I can do towards paying it forward. Many times, just hearing a pleasant voice with an understanding tone is the extra push that the applicant needs in order to move forward in his or her process. Being able to walk them through their processes and hearing about how their lives were turned around is the best reward.