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Penny Forward strives to provide our members with the resources needed for a bright financial future. Check out what our members have to say!

Testimonial for Penny Forward

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I love that you guys can take me where I’m at and help me build from here. I love that you have knowledge about how financial literacy concepts apply for the blind community and are proactively teaching it to those of us who can greatly benefit from the education.
The fact that the monthly membership price is low so people on fixed incomes can easily afford the cost is a huge bonus!
I am an entrepreneur and Chris is able to advise me about some things relative to that as well. Managing finances within the confines of Social Security is a struggle, exhausting, very discouraging and very often feels hopeless. The one on one sessions with Chris are helping me to expand my understanding and focus on things that will make the difference in the long run. I now have more hope that I will be able to go from just surviving and move into thriving. I am excited about the offerings and am looking forward to what the future holds for Penny Forward.

Submitted by Teresa Christian

Works to Employee the Blind

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Hello all, I just wanted to thank Penny forward for taking a chance with me. For those around Penny Forward, you may know me as our current Program Coordinator. Before coming to Penny Forward, I had never worked a “real job” as a mom of 4 with kids ranging in ages from 16 to 7, there was just financially no reason for me to be working when childcare would cost more than I would get paid. However since my youngest started school last year I was looking for some part time work to fill in the hours, and Penny Forward was able to fill that need for me. I have learned so much while being here and hope to be here for a long time to come.

Submitted by MOe Carpenter

One Step at a Time

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The challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic plunged me into a period of financial hardship. I was juggling long hours of remote work, teaching full-time, and studying diligently for the Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist (CATIS) certification. I quickly and willingly ensnared myself in a relentless cycle of impulse purchases and mindless spending. My actions brought me no real joy. My bank account dwindled, and my credit card debt soared.

Like many others, I justified my actions with familiar excuses. I told myself that as a young and ambitious professional dealing with stress, I deserved to indulge in the finer things in life. I assured myself that I would rectify my financial situation after the grind was over, and everything would be wonderful, and I would live happily ever after. Can you relate to this?

Then, on a rainy morning in October, I achieved my goal of earning the CATIS certification. I was home free! All my problems would go away, and I would be earning six figures in no time, right? Not exactly.

My financial situation had spun out of control. When I tried to book an Uber ride home, I was hit with a harsh reality—I had no money left. I had to borrow funds just to make it back home, and this debt only continued to grow, pushing me to borrow even more to cover essential expenses, with rent chief among them. Eventually, I had no choice but to move back in with my family. I felt completely disempowered and utterly trapped, like a deer caught in the blinding headlights of an oncoming train.

It was during these dire straits that I stumbled upon Penny Forward, an organization dedicated to helping blind individuals build bright futures, one penny at a time. This is not just a catchy slogan; it’s precisely what Penny Forward does.

Over the course of three years, Penny Forward’s honest guidance and unwavering support played an invaluable role in helping me eliminate over $40,000 of credit card debt, rebuild my credit score, and develop essential budgeting skills. Chris Peterson’s dedication to financial literacy is exemplified through his patience, unwavering faith in me, and his blunt and necessary honesty during our counseling sessions. One session became ten sessions, and forty-thousand dollars of debt became thirty-nine thousand. I lived with roommates. I took extra jobs. Remember the impulse purchases? I sold them, every last one to recoup what I could. It was a marathon, not a sprint.

Penny Forward is more than just an organization providing financial literacy and debt management services for blind people; it is a lifeline for individuals like you and me, offering hope, financial education, and the indispensable tools needed to regain control over your financial future.

Guess what? I’m still on the journey I started three years ago. I am still paying off debt, still working the budget, and time is still ticking on by. I am still working with Penny Forward, and I still make impulse purchases from time to time. The difference between 2020 me and 2024 me is this: I have the tools now, and I see that bright future. Like you, I’m walking toward it, and I’m doing it the same way as you are—one step at a time. Thank you, Penny Forward.

Everett Elam, CATIS

Submitted by Everett Elam

Patient Taskmaster with Small Business Coaching

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I’ve been working with Chris to get my small business up and running whilst being so poor I need food boxes again, through one daughter dying and the other daughter’s health deteriorating so much she is now bed bound. He keeps me on track, while helping me set reasonable goals and reminding me to be patient with myself. He is exceptionally creative in finding alternative ways to get around my self imposed road blocks.

Submitted by Desirée Christian

Great Couples Advising

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Working with Chris has been a pleasure. My partner and I started couples financial counseling before moving in together and Chris’s advice has become a pillar of our relationship. Chris is gentle, understanding, and encouraging. He met us where we were at and helped us communicate better about our finances and shared responsibilities. I am so grateful for Chris and Penny Forward.

Submitted by Gab D