Meet Cassandra Adams, Accounting Clerk at YMCA of Greater Michiana, a non-profit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.
Cassandra Adams is a full-time working mother of three who is doing an excellent job balancing work and family. A superhuman in disguise of a woman, Adams has been working in the non-profit industry for eight years now. She takes after her mother who single-handedly raised her and her sister, with their dad being in and out of the picture. Even with moving around a lot and her mother completed her master’s degree as a 1st generation graduate, only when Cassandra was 12. Although her childhood was filled with abuse, alcoholism, and poverty, her mother’s courage and strength gave her hope every day.
It took Cassandra a decade to get through college, as she had her first daughter during this time. She worked full time as a young adult wherein she faced a lot of ageism. It was also because she had no credibility for her knowledge as her colleagues. But she never gave hope and knows that hard work always pays off. Before she started her personal finance blog, she and her family really struggled to stay afloat. They lived on paycheck to paycheck every month and had to use debt to cover their basic needs of food and clothing. She documented this journey on her blog, Cultivating the Money Tree, for people to learn from her experience and attain financial freedom themselves.
She joined the YMCA in 2013 because she loved the atmosphere and the mission of the organization. Here she found a support network to finish her degree. She started at the customer service department and took on different roles over the years. When the pandemic hit the world, they had to shut down for six months. During this time, Adams was pregnant with her third child.
It was tricky to manage a team and family. Fortunately, she was offered an accounting position at the non-profit last September, which she considers a blessing. It has helped her maintain a better work-life balance. She is able to manage her time better. Adams notes that the companies/organizations value families and their employees. They understand that the employees have commitments outside their careers. Also, the YMCA allows them to bring the kids to work.
Talking about her organization, she says, “We provide programs and services in our community that fall into our three core focuses of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Our programs and services are available for all age groups and help bring people together”.
As she is the only person on the accounting team, she is responsible for knowing that everybody is following the process. She points out that with work-from-home zoom calls and email communication, we have lost some of that in-person connection. Cassandra is trying her best to ensure the smooth functioning of the organization and not let the interpersonal connection between the team get affected. Through her experience all these years, she has learned that we have the ability to define our work and create opportunities that allow us to meet the needs of our families and communities alike. This has given her hope. Hope for a better future for herself and her family.
By sharing her story and the resources she has discovered along the way, Cassandra aspires to get people out of their cycle of generational poverty. Leaving a powerful message for her readers, she says, “No matter where you are now, there is always hope and opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive. You have the strength and ability to lead a ripple effect of positive change by just being true to yourself.”