Clients on Road to Success

posted 4/11/19 -- Two Lorain single mothers have more in common than their  health care careers. Both Ariane Newell and Ramona Montanez have new – to them – cars thanks to Lorain County Community Action Agency’s By Car program and partnership with WE3 (Women Educated, Empowered and Employed).

By Car matches saved income 2 to 1 to allow participants to purchase a safe, used car. Participants must be saving for a car to use for work or school and not have any car in their household. They must also complete a financial literacy course.

Both Newell and Montanez used their income tax refund to reach their savings goal of $1,333.

Newell bought a 2010 Ford Escape from Center Road Auto Sales in North Ridgeville. She had not had a car for over a year after it was vandalized.

“It was expensive taking Lyft to day care and the grocery store,” Newell said. “This is a blessing.”

It took Newell a month to find a car she could buy outright which would accommodate her five children, ages 2 to 11. She works as a cook at the Lorain County Community College Spitzer Conference Center while she attends the Lorain County Joint Vocational School studying to become a State Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA).

Montanez also works in health care. She is currently an STNA with Comfort Keepers. Her last car was heavily financed and eventually repossessed. Now, she is the outright owner of a 2012 Dodge Avenger found at Calhoun Auto Sales in Elyria.

“It’s going to help me get to school and work,” she said. “Now I have no car note! I am excited about my future. It will feel good to have a reliable car.”

Montanez also completed the WE3 program and is currently taking prerequisite courses at Lorain County Community College to being a Licensed Practical Nurse. She plans to transfer to EHOVE Career Center’s LPN program in June, with the help of a grant from Ohio Means Jobs.

“The WE3 program is an awesome program,” Montanez said. “It builds confidence by teaching strategies of how to live better, never give up and make better decisions for your children.”

Montanez has three children, ages 11, 8 and 2.

For more information on WE3 or By Car, contact Client Services Coordinator Colette Park at [email protected].

By Car is funded in part by the Community Services Block Grant, currently up for reauthorization by the United States Congress. Click here to learn how to contact our local Congressional representatives. Tell them to support CSBG so we can continue to help people like Ms. Montanez and Ms. Newell.