Carol pays off $43,000 of student loans and starts her own media company

June 17, 2024

In 2019, Carol’s world turned upside down when she became a victim of domestic violence and had to flee her home in Birmingham, Alabama. Just months away from achieving her dream of graduating culinary school, everything was ripped away. She found herself adrift in Atlanta, her life’s path shattered as she struggled to start over. 

A life upended

“I had hit a place of void where I had been stripped down of everything that I knew, everything I thought I had going on,” Carol recounts. Those first few months were a battle. She slept in a car until even that humble shelter was taken when legal issues over the title arose—the harsh reality of being homeless after having a stable home for years hit hard. 

Finally, she found a shelter where she could take refuge, and a local business hired her as a chef intern. Then, one fateful day at a MARTA station, a PadSplit advertisement caught her eye. She immediately felt a spark of hope. Carol quickly booked a room with PadSplit in January 2020, just before the pandemic hit.

A path forward with PadSplit

“PadSplit allowed me to be part of a community while still having my own space,” Carol explains. This balance was vital, as the pandemic brought new, unforeseen setbacks. Just when she thought her life couldn’t get more turned upside down, it did another backflip.

But through the turmoil, PadSplit was a steadying presence, providing stable housing, financial assistance to save for the future, and opportunities like property management. Carol helped oversee her PadSplit home during the pandemic and learned everything she could about managing properties. More importantly, it provided an environment conducive to psychological healing. 

“I did feel safe. I wouldn’t have been able to grow in life like I did if I didn’t feel safe,” Carol says. “PadSplit gave me the space to see where I had given up my power and change what needed changing.” It was here she began to unpack the trauma and mental health struggles her experience had brought up. She started to see a defined and beautiful path forward. 

Paying off $43,000 in student loans and launching a media company

Despite the struggles she faced, Carol’s gratitude is immense. “I grew up at PadSplit. Without them showing me the way forward when I felt completely lost, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

Who she is today is nothing short of inspiring. Carol launched her own media company focused on creative expression through poetry, music, and writing – a passion born from her need to heal. Partnering with a local theater, she composed music for a play that was featured at the Jimmy Carter Center and Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. She also paid off $43,000 in student loans, secured a beautiful home in Midtown, and is traveling to Mexico soon to celebrate her son’s wedding. 

On top of all that, her credit score is higher than ever before, and her wildest dreams are being realized. “I’ve seen my dreams come true. One of the things that I believe: If you want to revive, restructure, and rebuild your life, you can do it through PadSplit,” Carol beams. “At PadSplit, you can get your second wind so you can win!” Carol beams. 

Carol’s story contains profound lessons about resilience, community support, and the human impact of affordable housing. With a second wind in her sails, she exudes joy and strives to impact the world around her positively. Her journey offers resounding hope for anyone who has faced rock bottom and wondered if they’d recover.

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