Child Care WAGE$

Selfie of a woman with glasses
WAGE$
Jennifer Gioia

In a Time of Crisis: I am WAGE$ with Verma Ellis

Since suffering damage to her home due to Hurricane Florence in 2018, Verma says, “the WAGE$ money will help me get a roof over my trailer and get me and my two girls out of the camper that we are calling home.”

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Selfie of a smiling woman
AWARD$
Jennifer Gioia

Mama Lissa’s Tiny Tot University: Blessed During COVID-19

“I’m very fortunate because I am an essential worker and I’ve been working since day one, and we are lucky that no one has gotten sick,” said Melissa (Missy) Hamrick, director of Cleveland County’s Mama Lissa’s Tiny Tot University.

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Tonya Martin photo
AWARD$
Jennifer Gioia

Stepping Back from the Edge

As an infant-toddler educator, Tonya struggles with critically low pay and she works an additional part-time job to survive. It is a constant and ongoing challenge, but her passion for young children drives her.

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