Veronica Mallory was falling on hard financial times when she heard about the VIDA program. At first, Veronica thought it was a program exclusively to help people with down payment assistance when purchasing a home. Veronica wondered if VIDA assistance could help her with the financial burden of sending her son through college. Her son Daniel, or D as she calls him, was a student at Bridgewater College and about to start his sophomore year. Regretting not going to college herself, Veronica made it a priority for her son. In the summer of 2015 Veronica had no idea how she was going to be able to pay for her son to return to college for his sophomore year.
Veronica decided to pursue finding out more about the VIDA program from Piedmont Housing Alliance. She learned that VIDA funds can be used for a variety of means: to help small businesses further their endeavors, down payment assistance for homebuyers as well as for tuition and school costs for parents and students. After qualifying and subsequently taking the necessary classes required, she was on her way to establishing savings and receiving matching funds. At the time, by saving $2,000 she was able to receive $4,000 to use toward D’s tuition and books. Then, by the following year, D, who had been working a summer job to help pay for his tuition, decided to also enroll in the program. He met the criteria and was also approved. By then, the program guidelines had changed and he only had to save $500 in order to receive the $4,000 match. In the end, both Veronica and D were able to receive $4,000 each, totaling $8,000 to put towards D’s college tuition.
Veronica encourages anyone with a need that qualifies to pursue the VIDA program. Without it, she says they would not have been able afford all four years of college for D. “It was a really easy program to go through and Shelley was a huge help anytime I had a question,” said Veronica. “This program was such a blessing to us.”
D plans to graduate this May with a degree in Health and Exercise Science and has already applied to five different graduate schools with the hope of becoming a professional trainer.
Happy graduation, D!