Success Story: Paulette

A Grandmother Returns to College; her Grandson Sees the Rays Play

Paulette J. had no vehicle. For two years she and her grandson Hunter (then 5 years old) walked to everything…work, the grocery store, laundry mat, doctors’ appointments, and church. Many times, there simply was no bus going where they needed to go. Hunter did not understand why he they could not go places and do things like other families did together. Their health problems complicated the situation for this determined grandmother and grandson. She suffers from severe arthritis; he has asthma. Walking in the heat exacerbated both of those ailments. Lacking transportation made getting to their doctors a challenge.

Paulette wanted to go to college. She wasn’t just one of the many who merely talk about it. She was determined to become a teacher. Hunter wanted to participate in sports activities and see the Rays play; he loves baseball. They began to hope when someone at church told them about Wheels of Success. Paulette’s employer officially referred her to the program. And then, on Labor Day 2008, Paulette and Hunter were one of the 20 families who drove away smiling in their new-to-them 1994 Saturn while Hunter yelled, “Woowhoooooo!”

Once she got wheels, Paulette wasted no time registering for school. She earned her CDA and is teaching while working on her bachelor’s degree in education. Hunter goes to birthday parties now and has seen the Rays play. Paulette had not seen her brother or other grandchildren for four years. With a car, they were able to travel to Memphis. She brought the grandchildren back with her for the summer, and Hunter got to know his cousins.

Says Paulette, “This car was a Godsend. It has been a lifesaver for us both!” She completed the program and picked up her title Labor Day 2009. It was a very good year for these two!