Mark's Story


MarkMark grew up in a small town in New Mexico. When Mark was nine years old, his father left.  

Mark’s mother took on the roles of single parent and sole breadwinner for the family. Sometimes it was a real struggle for their family to make ends meet. Mark remembers times where meals were fished out of trash cans. 

In order to contribute financially and help keep his family afloat, Mark dropped out of school when he was just 14-years-old and began working full-time.  

Mark moved to Idaho years later. He is a hard worker and has a busy job in a local restaurant. But his real dream is to work in advertising, maybe as a graphic designer. But before he can go to college to pursue his dream, he has to finish his GED. 

Recently, Mark decided he was ready, and enrolled in a United Way of Treasure Valley funded GED program. Mark is working with two dedicated tutors, the familiarity of which help him feel comfortable asking questions and seeking support without feeling self-conscious.  

Today, Mark has passed three of the four tests needed to earn his GED! He continues to work online with his tutors and is confident he will successfully complete his final test (in math!) soon.  

If you ask Mark what part of his GED journey he is most proud of, his answer might surprise you. 

He will tell you the story of how upsetting it was to see his little brother, Luke follow in his footsteps and also drop out of high school. So imagine Mark’s delight when Luke, inspired by Mark’s example, enrolled in the GED program so that he too could complete his GED. 

People like you help people like Mark and Luke break the cycle.  

You help them contribute to our economy. You help them gain employment to be positive, productive members of our community.  

You do this by giving them a hand up, not a hand out. 

Today is an opportunity to turn your generosity into lasting change, as we work to help families gain access to education, job training, attainable housing, and more.  

But we can’t do it without you. Will you give?