It's estimated that 2,700 school-aged children in Wake County need assistance getting basic school supplies. We aim to help children and teenagers start the year off right and ensure they have the tools they need to feel confident and prepared for a successful school year. With your help, together, we can ensure that as many children as possible have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
The I Am Worth It Foundation is a Raleigh-based scholarship fund assisting girls who suffer from traumatic experiences and mental health. The exposure to traumatic events and the mental illness associated with these events often trickles into the educational experience.
These two things have increased the risk of dropping out of school. Our goal is to remove financial obstacles associated with colleges to prevent young women from deciding between surviving in their current environment and their future success. We would like to see these young women achieve economic independence while obtaining higher education.
The I Am Worth It Foundation was founded by Jennifer Payne. She is a 37-year-old successful mother of two; however, growing up, she experienced numerous circumstances that classified her as at-risk youth. Growing up, Jennifer experienced several challenging situations, including trauma, neglect, divorce, isolation, bullying, and sexual and emotional abuse. These experiences resulted in her battling low self-esteem, self-injury, depression, and major anxiety. Even though Jennifer had every reason to be bitter, angry, and resentful toward her painful reality, she discovered an opportunity that forever changed her trajectory. That opportunity was enrolling in college to ensure she had the building blocks and foundation to set herself up for a better future.
Upon enrolling in school, Jennifer faced a major obstacle in the cost of higher education. Jennifer had moved out of her mother's home at 17 while supporting herself on a minimum-wage job. Unfortunately, due to bureaucratic financial aid policies, she was required to consider her parents' income in the assistance qualification process. As a result, she discovered she did not qualify for any financial aid. Her dream of higher education seemed impossible due to the expenses associated with living independently and attending college.
For most degree programs working a full-time job and attending school full-time is nearly impossible logistically. Fortunately for Jennifer, she was able to secure some alternative financial assistance, which was a major turning point in her life and vital in successfully completing her degree while living and supporting herself independently.
Jennifer displayed incredible perseverance, courage, and strength as she navigated her way through adolescence and into adulthood. She has now created a scholarship fund to give back to her community while supporting girls who face similar challenges that she faced as a young woman. That Scholarship Fund is called the I Am Worth It Foundation!
"We at the I Am Worth it foundation feel incredibly honored to be able to collaborate with O2 fitness. Both of our organizations truly understand how important and intertwined physical health and mental health are and the strong role that they play together!"