Diane came to the Center for Hope & Safety’ Project Self-Sufficiency program because she wanted to continue her education.  Here at Center for Hope & Safety, we believe that all women have the right to live without fear, without violence and have a self-sufficient life.  The core of our mission is to help each woman feel empowered to reach her own particular goals. Whatever the next step may be, we are here to help.  

For Diane, the next step was her Bachelor’s Degree. She had completed two years at Bergen Community College, and we encouraged her to believe that she could go even further.  A Bachelor’s Degree would enable Diane to secure future employment that would pay a livable wage.  But applying to a four-year college or a university seemed like a daunting task to her – she had been through so much with her abuser, and she had come so far. 

Our Project Self-Sufficiency counselor worked with Diane and together, they researched several four year schools in the area; comparing costs as well as the programs they offered. Diane ultimately decided on Ramapo College.  

We helped Diane throughout each step of the process, from proofreading and editing her admissions essay, to helping her complete the online application and apply for Financial Aid through the FAFSA website.  She didn’t have the money for the admission fee, so we covered the cost through a privately subsidized shelter fund. 

Diane is now successfully enrolled at Ramapo College and is well on her way to earning her degree. She living a life free of violence and pursing her dreams – this is what Project Self-Sufficiency is all about.