At ECS, we would like to highlight the work and creativity of Lillian Holt, a participant of our MindSet program, who is an award-winning poet! At the suggestion of an ECS coach, Lillian entered a contest sponsored by one of our partners, the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, who stepped up its financial awareness outreach with a contest for essays, poems, or artwork about what financial security means to them.
The contest assignment was to answer two questions:
1) What does financial security mean to you?
2) What financial advice would you give your younger self?
Lillian grew up in New Jersey and has had a lifelong interest in working with the deaf, starting in elementary school where one of her teachers was deaf. She currently serves as an administrative assistant at the Philadelphia School for the Deaf, and her dream is to earn the academic credentials necessary to provide direct services.
Watch her recite her award-winning poem (transcript below).
It's really not in the budget right now,
You'd have to get a second job.
And if it's not on scholarship,
I don't know what to tell you.
You know we can't afford that.
Well what can we afford?
Food, clothing, shelter,
Paid for by labor with no shortage of gratitude of course.
Some of the most basic needs for survival we've got, God's good.
Yes, you might not starve,
The lights won't be shut off until next week,
Still have hot water on the 16th, miracle.
But until there's confidence –
Not a threat, not a constant worry,
Not a continuous flow of mental math,
Not barely being able to make ends meet,
We're just struggling to get by.
And once we finish striving,
We've made it.
Our investments will have been worth it,
We see the benefit of sacrifice --
Our time, our freedom, our strength.
Then we inhale, exhale, and we inhale again,
Head above water, clear blue sky
Endless fields all the way to horizon.
Then we can dream when the bills aren't right in front of us.
When we close our eyes and we don't see debt,
Then we can look past the end of the pay period.
We can plan a trip, we can take a break, rent a movie,
Something extraneous, something extravagant,
Something expensive, something extra
And look ma, no guilt!
Wouldn't that be divine?
We congratulate Lillian Holt on her success!