Last December, Deja Loa Forsythe graduated with a degree in Marketing from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She always knew she wanted to get a degree, and when she found herself struggling to pay for school, she looked to the Personal Investment Enterprise (PIE) program for help.
"My aunt told me about the PIE program when I was trying to figure out how I would be able to finish college. I've always been good with saving and my finances but the matching funds were really key, I was able to not work so many hours and concentrate on my school work," Deja said.
The youngest of six children, Deja has had a difficult family life in recent years and was considered 'at-risk' during her time in high school, but her parents always stressed the importance of getting an education and completing college. "My parents would always tell me, you can be successful without a formal education, but so many more doors and opportunities are open to you when you have a degree." Today, she is already working in her field, specializing in digital marketing.
"I thought about going into music or psychology, but I wanted something a bit more practical. Marketing interested me because it is business-oriented, but you can also be creative in your day-to-day work." She found a paid internship while she was attending school that turned into a full-time job upon graduation. With that and the PIE program, she was able to purchase books, get hands-on experience in her field and not graduate with so much debt. "Without the PIE program, I would not have been able to purchase books; they would have been too much out of my budget. I know that would have held me back in my classes and would have had a negative impact on my studies."
Deja is proud of what she has achieved. She is the first in her family to graduate college and she knows she will be a good example for the younger generation in her family and others. "I want to create something that I am proud of; I want to volunteer with at-risk youth, giving back to the community which helped me so much. There is still a lot for me to learn and accomplish."
She finished with some words of wisdom, "Look for resources because there are people out there who want to help you; get involved with the right people and the right programs. If you're looking to go to college, the PIE program can make your dream a reality."