Rose Afriyie: She’s Providing Relief for Families in Need

June 19 - On The Dot
 
FIRST THOUGHT: Fighting the Burnout

Recently, I’ve taken more notice of the trend of women getting burned out early in their careers. Sometimes this can lead to pivoting to a completely different career, one that gives you greater joy. But sometimes it leads to straight-up misery. Let me ask you a few questions that may shed some light on whether burnout is around the corner for you. Do you wake up stressed in the middle of the night? Are most of your thoughts based in the future rather than the present? Do you say “yes” so often that your obligations seem insurmountable? If you nodded your head to any of these questions, make it a priority today to assess where you can cut back at work, carve out a little more “me” time and get some rest.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Nearly 68 Million

The truth is many women feel career burnout because they’re working more than one job to support their families. And yet, some women still struggle. Government assistance provides integral support for many of these women and their families throughout the country. In fact, there are nearly 68 million people in the United States who receive some sort of government assistance, such as food stamps and help paying for housing. What’s worse, single mothers tend to receive about $100 less in assistance each month than households headed by single men or married couples.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Rose Afriyie, Co-founder, President and Executive Director of mRelief

Rose Afriyie is a perfect example of a woman who changed her career course to embrace a more fulfilling position that utilizes her skills and desire to help others. She’s the co-founder and head honcho at mRelief, a unique Chicago-based nonprofit that utilizes technology to streamline social services in order to better help today’s vulnerable populations and families in need.

Super smart and just as steadfast in her devotion to helping lift up the lives of others, Rose has a history as a changemaker. In addition to her knack for tech, Rose has a passion for public policy, even earning her master’s degree in the subject. She’s worked as a community organizer for the National Organization for Women, interned for the White House’s Domestic Policy Council and as a marketing associate at Google, co-produced Oprah Winfrey’s first Google+ Hangout, as well as President Barack Obama’s annual State of the Union Hangout.

Rose’s exceptional ability to code proficiently and understand the inner workings of our democracy—combined with a desire to fix the broken American welfare system—were the driving forces that led her to establish mRelief. The whole goal of the nonprofit is to make the process of qualifying for public assistance a lot easier through the use of technology. Since its launch, mRelief has connected more than 100,000 families in 42 states with helpful social services.

What many Americans may not realize is just how complicated it can be to apply for and receive government assistance. For instance, Rose mentions the standard application for food stamps is 18 pages long. Additionally, many welfare offices are open only during normal business hours, making the application and review process extra difficult for working families.

How mRelief simplifies this whole process is genius. Applicants simply answer five questions on the website, which then screens them for eligibility in eight assistance programs. Users can even go through the screening process via text message.

One issue rarely discussed when it comes to public assistance is the humiliation many people feel when they need to ask for help. We’re grateful for Rose and mRelief for offering a simplified process that helps ease that pain for thousands of Americans in need.

QUITE THE QUOTE

With Rose Afriyie’s important work in mind, today’s quote is from Mahatma Gandhi, who said:

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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