Our Stories


Darius and Lashawn are considered ALICE - they are working, yet not earning enough. An unexpected death in their family resulted in financial struggles including losing their home. With nowhere to turn, they sought local programs that could help them get back on their feet. They were connected to a number of CAUW funded programs at Catholic Charities, where they learned valuable budgeting and home ownership skills. Over time, Darius was able to earn his GED and complete a welding program. Lashawn became certified as an armed security guard and immediately went to work at a chemical plant. They are now proud home owners. ALICE individuals and families could be your neighbor, daycare worker, mechanic, or even a student graduating with loan debt. It only took one unexpected moment in Darius and Lashawn’s life to turn their financial situation upside down. This could happen to anyone. This could happen to you. The challenges our community face are complex and no single organization can address them alone. At Capital Area United Way, we work with community partners and invest in programs and services that will enable ALICE households to achieve a financially stable future that will set them up for success. United Way and partners were there with support, Darius and Lashawn did the rest.


Building Character Through Character Playbook

"Character is who you are deep down, so showing people your best side by being kind, making positive choices, standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves and using your words to deal with your feelings is how you wear your heart on the outside.”

Carmen was a student we had seen at the discipline center many times. At the time she was back for a 10 day suspension. She had an attitude and was clearly discouraged by school and everything that went along with it. When we started Character time and using Character Playbook she initially wasn’t sure asking, “What is this?” I encouraged her to give it chance and that it was a tool that I used to help see what you’re struggling with and how I can help. That was the last complaint I heard. On the 9th day of her suspension she ran into my room telling me that she had finished the program and couldn’t wait to get her certificate. The fact that she completed something and also learned something about herself I could tell really meant a lot to her. On top of that when I was explaining the program to new students Carmen stepped in and explained everything for me, it was a amazing to see. It is also great to report that Carmen has not been back to the discipline center since.

--Ashley Richardson, Teacher
East Baton Rouge Discipline Center
Baton Rouge, Louisiana