A Grant of EPIC Proportions

Thanks to recent grants, many Mercy Housing residents can continue to pursue their academic dreams.

We are honored to partner with the National Real Estate Practice of EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants for the fourth year in a row to offer the EPIC Educational Support Grant to Mercy Housing residents. The purpose of the grant is to help recipients obtain their post-high school educational goals. This year, a $2,500 grant was awarded to 24 Mercy Housing residents, including four residents from our Mountain Plains region!

Headquartered in San Francisco, EPIC has a nationwide presence with a corporate culture that believes in the power of giving back to the communities in which they work and live. They encourage and support participation with non-profit organizations and Mercy Housing is thrilled to partner with them again this year.

The EPIC Educational Support Grant provides residents an opportunity to fulfill their dreams, often after overcoming many obstacles just to find affordable, stable housing.

Meet Emi: EPIC 2021 Educational Support Grant Recipient.

Maria, or Emi as she is affectionately known, has been a resident at Francis Peak View in Kaysville, Utah since 2016. Emi was born in Argentina and moved to the United States in 2013. Throughout her life, Emi faced adversity and has overcome many barriers; learning English was one of them.

As the oldest of five children, Emi left school in 7th grade to help raise her younger siblings. Her family lived in poverty, with all five kids sleeping in the same bed and going days without food on the table. Emi was often in charge of finding food for herself and siblings, many times rummaging through the garbage.

Emi dreamed of a better life and moving to the U.S. meant a chance for her to accomplish her goal of getting an education – something Emi’s parents and siblings didn’t have an opportunity to do. Emi completely immersed herself in English in every aspect of her life. It was a very isolating and lonely time for her, but after a year, the language began to make sense.

Living at Mercy Housing has given Emi a foundation and a support system when she needed it most. She feels great appreciation for the life she’s been able to build because of Mercy Housing.

“Mercy Housing has given me an opportunity to have a house, and DIGNITY! I have a beautiful place with a room, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Rent is possible for me to pay,” said Emi.

With pure determination and grit, Emi has accomplished every goal she has set for herself. She finished high school and now, thanks to the EPIC Educational Support Grant, Emi will be attending Salt Lake Community College this fall – continuing her academic journey to becoming a social worker. Through it all she continues to give back to her community.

Hannah, Resident Services Coordinator at Francis Peak View, has seen firsthand Emi’s passion for helping others and the amazing fortitude to always find the positive in everything she does.

“Emi has volunteered with our Resident Services program in many capacities. She has volunteered teaching children in our afterschool program countless times. She also works with the local 4-H chapter helping children in the greater community,” said Hannah.

“My life has given me so many lemons and I have learned to make delicious lemonade. I want to be a social worker and bring this part of myself to others,” said Emi.