Melisha’s Story

Their world was turned upside down.

Melisha is the mother of Nevayah, a Leadership Academy student. Nevayah’s dad was murdered in early 2013. Bill Hobbs met with Nevayah, to pray for her and to try to encourage her.

During their time together, he asked if she’d be coming back to TLA next year. She looked down and quietly said, “No. My mom can’t afford it since my dad died.” Bill’s heart broke. Knowing that we were talking about a $50 enrollment fee, Bill worked quickly with program staff to get Nevayah a scholarship.

Melisha was struggling to make ends meet for her family. Urban Youth Impact saw a family in need and nominated Melisha for The Mary Alice Fortin Foundation Christmas in July grant.

It was with great joy that we surprised Melisha at our “Christmas in July” event on August 1st with the news that The Mary Alice Fortin Foundation selected her family to be a recipient of their $5,000 “Christmas in July” grant.

Melisha shared with us that: “The days leading up to the surprise were dark, account in the negative, no rent money, my kids’ father just got murdered, my mother was ill, my children had no school supplies or uniforms, truck was acting up…I could go on, you know. I was late for what they told me was a meeting, because I just left the bank about my funds being taken completely out of my account, throwing my account in the negative. They were actually waiting on me. Ms. Pat even called me to see where I was.”

With the gift, Melisha was able to pay off some of her debts and catch up on her monthly bill. She is thankful because she believes that if she hadn’t received the grant dollars, she and her children would be homeless.

A total of five families who are involved with Urban Youth Impact’s program received the gifts made possible by the grant from The Mary Alice Fortin Foundation. These families were selected not only because of their need but also because of the effort they have put into bettering themselves and their situations. As part of accepting this gift, each family was required to attend a one-hour class on money management.