How Winning the Tax Time Story Contest Gave Derkisha the Confidence to Pursue Her Dreams

Since winning the contest in 2019, Derkisha has enrolled in college and is saving to buy a home.

When Derkisha submitted an entry to SaverLife’s Tax Time Story Contest in 2019, she didn’t think much of it. 

“I’d never won anything,” the mother of five explained.

Derkisha was floored when the SaverLife team traveled to Texas to surprise her with the news that she was the grand prize winner of $5,000. At the time, she said winning the contest changed her life and gave her the confidence she needed to pursue her dreams. 

Three years later, she’s well on her way. 

Despite the difficulties of navigating the pandemic as a single mother, Derkisha completed her Associate’s Degree in 2020. 

“I can’t even describe what earning my degree means to me. I know it’s just an Associate’s degree, but this degree means that I can go out and continue to change the circumstances of my family,” she told SaverLife at the time.

Derkisha continued her studies throughout the pandemic, eventually shifting gears from pursuing a career in nursing to pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Administration that she is on track to finish this year. After graduation, Derkisha plans to pursue a career in office management at a doctor’s office. 

“Before I went back to school, there were times when I felt like I didn’t have any worth,” Derkisha said. “I didn’t really have an identity, but being a student, I saw myself in a different light. It’s been so helpful for [to feel] like I can do whatever I set my mind to.”

As she pursues her education, Derkisha is committed to reaching her savings goals. When she won the story contest, her biggest dream was to purchase a home. 

“The train is still chugging on saving for a home,” she says now. “I’m giving myself one more year to save up after I graduate school, and then I’m planning to start the process.” 

SaverLife has been instrumental in helping Derkisha pursue her savings goals. She saved her grand prize winnings through her credit union to give her a financial cushion. Through SaverLife, she connected with a Neighborhood Trust financial coach she has worked with for the past two years. Her coach has helped Derkisha financially plan for going back to school and provided support as she completes her education. 

“SaverLife has opened so many doors for me,” Derkisha said. “It gave me a firm financial foundation.” 

For Derkisha, a considerable part of this foundation came from the Tax Time Story Contest. 

“Winning the Tax Time Story Contest changed my life,” Derkisah said. “My confidence in myself went through the roof. I realized I could win in life. I’m going to do better than okay—I’m going to thrive.”

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