Breaking the Cycle, Securing the Future:
Ms. Diarra’s Story

By Ryan Miller on November 18, 2015

Categories: Real Stories


Empowering people to achieve their goals is the cornerstone of LIFT’s mission. From the moment a Member walks into one of our offices to the second they leave, we remind them that they are the architects of their futures and that we are here to help them turn their dreams into reality. The story of Aminata Diarra, a Member at LIFT-DC, represents this partnership and through it, what’s possible.

A Fresh Start

When Ms. Diarra first came to the U.S. in 2013 her future was in limbo. She had left an abusive husband in Mali in order to start life anew. But upon her arrival in America, she faced new obstacles that stood between her current circumstances and the life she wanted. Yet from the moment Ms. Diarra set foot in our office, the intensity of her determination to create a better life for herself was clear. It was also clear that the primary motivation behind this determination was her son, Mohamed.

Bringing Mohamed Home

Ms. Diarra had ambitious dreams of becoming a CPA and she knew that this required advanced education. But before she pursued that goal, she first focused on bringing Mohamed to America.
LIFT matched Ms. Diarra with an Advocate and together they secured a passport for Mohamed. They also worked together to enroll Ms. Diarra in English classes, find a job, and access a high quality school for Mohamed.

“LIFT has been like a father, a mother, like parents for me because they helped me get everything I needed,” Ms. Diarra beams. “Before, I felt like I was alone. Since finding LIFT, I know I’m not alone. We’re working together to help me accomplish my dreams.”

Building a Better Future

Employed and with a safe home for herself and her son, Ms. Diarra set her sights on going back to school. Ms. Diarra’s ambition to pursue an advanced degree dovetailed with the launch of a new LIFTDC partnership with Trinity University to provide scholarships and support to women with young children. Recognizing Ms. Diarra’s dedication to building a better future for her family, we invited her to apply for a scholarship and she was one of three single mothers who won. In addition to the scholarship, LIFT donors helped send Ms. Diarra back to school with a new laptop and textbooks.

Today, she’s taking her future by storm. Ms. Diarra has an A average and will be transitioning to the full time program next spring. Ms. Diarra also spreads the word about LIFT’s services and speaks at LIFT events about our work to help families like hers escape the cycle of poverty for good.

Ms. Diarra continues to inspire us through her hard work and resolve. When we asked her what keeps her motivated she responded, “Because I want a better future for me and Mohamed,” and LIFT will be there every step of the way.

About the Author

Ryan Miller

At LIFT, Ryan writes and edits for a variety of communication products, including video, newsletters, fundraising campaigns, websites, blogs, new media and social media. He works with LIFT’s communications team to ensure that our voice is heard far and wide. Ryan LIFTs to expedite the journeys of those seeking the American dream. As a first-generation Read More