Skip to content

“I wish I would have known this stuff 20 years ago.”

Pat Smith graduated from the Getting Ahead class in 2010 and just recently graduated from the Financial Management this past June.

When asked what effect (if any) Bridges had on her, she said, “It’s nice to learn something when you feel like it wouldn’t make a difference, but it will. It’s nice to have your mind change.” She’s learned how to balance and manage money, invest in an IRA, and save for college and college loans. She specifically states, “What I really liked about the Financial Peace University was the language that they use—it’s not technical. You understand what Mr. Ramsey is saying. Even though they don’t have any videos, cartoons, or musicians—or anything like that—it’s just them talking to the masses, and it’s very understandable and very enjoyable… I would recommend the class. I would love for my grandchildren to learn the investing part because Mr. Ramsey said it very clear and very subtle.” While she says she isn’t the best at explaining it, she’d like “to lead by example,” showing her grandkids her bank statements and the necessity to have an emergency plan.

She concluded, “I wish I would have known this stuff 20 years ago. I don’t even know how long Mr. Ramsey’s been at it, but I wish I would have known when I was working and had a steady income. I wish I would have known. You’re so focused on work that you don’t have time to learn stuff. But people should take the time to learn, especially if they’re working and trying to raise kids.”

Reflections from Graduates…

Joyce Burnaugh, who graduated from both the Getting Ahead course at St. Margaret’s House and the Financial Management Class, reflects on what she’s taken away from both programs: “It makes people think about where they are and what it takes to get out of poverty. Many people are in it because sometimes they have something that happens to them in their lives. They aren’t always born into it, and they don’t all do drugs; they could have lost their job or house.” Anybody can end up in poverty. Joyce adds that the workshop also makes them aware of the perspectives or attitudes of those who are not in poverty, those who may not be very tolerant on those just trying to get by.

As Howard Anderson, another graduate, advised: “Trust, believe, and receive. If more of our colleagues were to humble ourselves, we could generate a bond with the rest of our community and actually identify some of their needs and provide… it’s just all upon the individual to receive.”

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

-Mother Teresa

Memorial BrainWorks presents Mary Morris Leighton Lecture 2014

Becoming Your Best Self: The New Science of Stress and Willpower

September 10 | 7 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn | 53995 Indiana 933 | South Bend

One of Forbes 20 Most Inspiring Women and bestselling author of The Willpower Instinct, and The Neuroscience of Change, Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., is passionate about exploring the latest research on motivation, temptation and procrastination, and turning them into easy-to-use ideas to transform habits, persevere at challenges and make successful changes.

Join us for an evening of insights and strategies! Kelly’s upbeat, dynamic, and humor-filled style makes it easy to grasp new ways to achieve your personal and professional goals—and get even closer to becoming your best self.

Reserve Your Seat!

Call 574.647.6628 or visit

Leighton Lecture Flyer

Congratulations, Katie!!


Katie CraftThis last semester, we had a wonderful IUSB intern, Katie Carrico. This past summer, she’s not only graduated from college, but she’s also gotten married (!!), moved into a new home, and has landed a job! She now works as the Elkhart County Family Development Consultant for REAL Services. She said her internship inspired and prepared her for this job.

While at Bridges, she wrote articles for a newsletter published by Specialized Staffing. She gathered resources for the newsletter that would assist associates employed through Specialized overcome potential barriers to employment. She gathered resources for everything ranging from child care to prescription assistance to cooperative housing for Elkhart and St. Joe counties in Indiana and Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, and Kent counties in Michigan.

She explains how Bridges helped her get hired: “This job requires similar kinds of research as the work I did at Bridges. The Family Development Program assists people in becoming financially self-sufficient. We do this by providing information and referrals, monthly face to face meetings, and opportunities for clients to attend Educational Support Groups. We provide holistic case management that looks at 12 life areas and assists in overcoming barriers that may keep one from becoming financially self-sufficient. Our clients set personal goals and we provide support through the entire process.”

She continued, “The experience I gained in researching resources and writing the newsletters played a big part in getting this job. I took in a couple sample articles to show that I could write without a bunch of academic jargon and had the ability to research helpful information for the population we are serving. That is a lot of what we do in Family Development. We need to give our clients good, solid referrals that will help them be successful in achieving their goals.”

We are so happy to have Katie staying in the same field of human resources. Now we can refer our Elkhart clients to her program!