How the Handy platform means I can work, study, and care for my son
Karen's 28, mother of one, living in New York. She joined the Handy platform in September 2015 to help pay for her studies. She started a 4-year course on Early Childhood Education in October, and her cleaning work is helping her pay for school and support her son.
"In my life everything has to be flexible. I have a 10-month year-old son, Ryan, so he's always my priority, but it's been my life-long dream to be a kindergarten teacher.
It's a 4-year course to train, and it's really expensive, so for a long time I couldn't see how I could find work that would enable me to study and support myself and my son. Joining the Handy platform changed all that for me.
I have class every Tuesday, and 2 assignments due on Thursday each week. I also have tutorials online, video classes and a mountain of reading to do each week so it's a lot. Especially with a 10-month old baby!
My cleaning jobs are perfect because I can fit them in around the rest of my life. I can pick and choose the times and neighborhoods that work best for me.
The course I'm taking is with Ashford university. And it's like over $11,000 a year, so it's a lot of money to find. I have some financial aid so that's a big help, but I basically couldn't do it with the jobs I find from the Handy platform. The cleaning jobs I do pay for everything in my life - there's no way I'd manage everything without that.
I enjoy the cleaning work I do. I love caring for peoples homes, but ultimately I really want to teach kids.
Everything I'm doing right now is for my career, for my future and for my son who's the center of my universe. I've taken on a lot in a short space of time, but it's all worth it. And I'm really proud of myself and what I've been able to achieve. I hope other people in my position who read my story are encouraged them to go for it, to follow their dreams. You can do it all. It's yours for the taking!"