Lisa has many lessons to teach her four children.

There’s 13-year-old Solomon—smart but anxious, excited about marine biology. 11-year-old Gabriel loves to read and helps around the house with a smile. Isabella, 7 years old and the only girl, is stubborn and independent—an artist and fashionista. The baby of the family—4-year-old Aziyah—is a natural sweetheart. He plays hard and loves to snuggle. His blond curls attract the family’s hands like a puppy’s fur coat.

Of all the lessons Lisa needs to teach these four before they leave home, by far the most important—in her mind, at least—is how to choose the right partner.

Because Lisa has chosen the wrong romantic partner one too many times. It’s a mistake most of us have made at least once of in our lives.

But for Lisa, the consequences of those mistakes have been severe. Over a decade after the first one, she is still getting her life together—with the help of multiple United Way programs and one tremendous woman who cared enough that she risked their friendship to save her.

Topics: Education, Financial Stability, Health & Well-Being

Rachel Vogel-Quinn

Written by Rachel Vogel-Quinn

Rachel Vogel Quinn is the former Marketing Communications Manager at United Way of Central Iowa.