Early investment in children earns dividends

20150714_SCHOOLS_AV_01Story written by Emily Adams.

COLUMBIA – Columbia resident Amanda Crawford expected her child to learn the ABCs at preschool but was surprised to discover her daughter had a talent for math – and a budding love for learning.

Crawford said her daughter, now 5 years old, didn’t go to daycare as a toddler. Columbia’s Title I preschool, which she began attending at age 3, was her first real exposure to other children.

“She was either with Mom or Dad,” Crawford said. “Going to preschool helped her pick up on social cues from other kids.”

The early exposure to education isn’t a guarantee that Crawford’s daughter will be successful in school, but it increases the odds in her favor, said Mary Rook, Columbia Public School’s preschool director.

“If they’re successful in preschool they’re more likely to be successful in kindergarten,” she said. “They’re more likely to be successful in 3rd grade. They’re more likely to be successful in high school.”

It’s an opportunity Crawford said she would not have been able to afford for her daughter if not for Columbia’s Title I preschool program, which served more than 620 kids in the past year.

Funding for the program comes from the federal government and covers full tuition at twenty-six Columbia classrooms. Annual funding is based on the number of students in the district who qualify for free or reduced price lunches and is supplied in hopes that students will meet state standards.

Community support for the program was reflected by voters’ approval of a recent bond issue that will pay for a new preschool building, due to break ground this month, Rook said. The building will host 10 preschool classes and seven early childhood classes in addition to special education and therapy services.

Students are not the only ones who benefit from the Title I program, which also seeks to support low-income student’s families. Fran Grant, a preschool teacher at Battle High School, teaches four days a week. The fifth day, she meets with parents.

“On Fridays we conduct mostly family visits. We bring education activities and materials for the family to use at home. We also discuss behavior, family situations, and developmental questions” said Grant, who also introduces parents to programs offering affordable food and clothes if they are in need.

In the classroom Grant teaches a “Golden Triangle” of language, social, and self-help skills that will prepare her students for kindergarten.

“(Elementary) school is a very different thing. It moves fast and has a lot of transitions. The kids have a kindergarten teacher, a music teacher, an art teacher, and many other adult staff who direct them throughout their day” she said. “By helping our students develop strong language social and self-help skills, they can be more successful in their new school setting.”

Crawford’s daughter, one of Grant’s former students, attended her first formal class this year in summer school. Crawford said her daughter wasn’t as excited about summer school as she had been about preschool, but picked up concepts much faster.

“She is really good at math and is even starting to pick up on words and sounds,” she said.

Rook, the preschool director, said the Title I program has expanded significantly since it began with a single classroom. But it still is not available to everyone.

To be eligible, low-income families must complete a screening at the Title I office at Eugene Field School in Columbia. The screening assesses the child’s development.

“The children who have the highest need developmentally, that’s who we offer preschool to first,” Rook said.

Even with free tuition, some families can’t take advantage of Title I schools because they don’t have transportation. Federally funded preschool programs Head Start and Title I together only cover about a third of low income families, said John Wright, a former state representative from Columbia.

Wright co-sponsored House Bill 1689, which goes into effect this school year, as an attempt to help school districts cover attendance gaps in preschools.

“In the first year only a subset of schools, those with unaccredited status, can qualify for funding under the bill. In the second year funding is expanded further to provisionally-accredited districts,” he said, explaining that unaccredited districts are prioritized so students can improve to meet state standards.

Rook, the preschool director, said funds spent preparing children for school save money down the road, reducing the likelihood that children will end up in jail or need other social services.

“For every $5 you put in early childhood you get $10 or $15 back,” she said. “We are saving money on prison beds by investing in children.”

Local organization reduces burden of health care

The Rain offices in Columbia, July 15, 2015. Rain was founded in the early 90s as a faith based organization to provide care for people dying of AIDS. The organization now provides housing assistance and case management services for HIV patients in 62 counties in Missouri. ADAM VOGLER/Missourian

The Rain offices in Columbia, July 15, 2015. Rain was founded in the early 90s as a faith based organization to provide care for people dying of AIDS. The organization now provides housing assistance and case management services for HIV patients in 62 counties in Missouri. ADAM VOGLER/Missourian

Story written by Breyanah Graham.

COLUMBIA — Because of the financial burden caused by the expensive cost of her health care, retired teacher Samantha Jones has lost faith in the health care system.

“I pay $500 a month out of pocket for my health care that is not covered by my insurance,” Jones said. “It’s not affordable. You have other things, and if you are paying four, five hundred a month it’s so hard, especially for people that don’t have a lot.”

Jones is one of the many people in the U.S. who don’t have the health care coverage. Her insurance has coverage gaps, leaving her with high medical bills.

“You either have insurance or you don’t,” Jones said. “We have so many people that need medical help. They have insurances that they can’t afford, bills from doctors. It’s a problem everywhere.”

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, more low-income Americans are able to get affordable and quality health insurance. “The percentage of working-age adults who are uninsured has dropped from 18 percent to 13.4 percent,” according to the latest edition of The Commonwealth Fund’s Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey recorded in May. These numbers reflect that the Affordable Care Act coverage is helping many people that could not have previously afforded health care.

However, while the Affordable Care Act has made insurance affordable for many people, its benefits have not been accessible for everyone. Under law, states are allowed to decide whether to expand Medicaid to people who are not eligible for its coverage. For people such as Jones who do not qualify for Medicaid or government aid, this means that the majority of the cost of their health care has to come out of pocket, which can cause a serious financial burden.

Cale Mitchell, the executive director for Rain-Central Missouri, has seen the burden firsthand. Rain is a nonprofit aid service organization that works with low-income individuals with HIV, Hepatitis, and sexually transmitted diseases.

“Income inequality and health care inequality go hand in hand,” Mitchell said. “When they come to us, they have other needs that need to be met besides health care, like housing and education. It’s like the chicken and the egg for them. Which one comes first?”

For low-income individuals who are living with HIV/AIDs, not being able to qualify for government funding is even more troubling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the estimated lifetime cost of treating HIV is $379,668. With the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, a full-time minimum wage employee making the federal wage only earns $15,080 annually, not even half the cost of treating HIV annually.

Fortunately for individuals who have limited access to health care, there are places like Rain that specialize in helping people at risk for, or infected with, STDs and other potentially life-threatening diseases.

With the help of funding from Ryan White Health Care, Rain has spent the last 25 years helping people with HIV/AIDS get affordable health care.

“Many more people that have HIV/AIDs are able to be insured now, but there are many people who fall through the cracks,” said Mitchell. “For those that are HIV positive, by utilizing federal dollars, we sent them to doctors and help them get proper treatment.“

For people with HIV/AIDs and other potentially-life threatening diseases, not being able to get proper health care can be detrimental to their health.

“It doesn’t help that there is so much stigma attached with the disease,” Mitchell said. “Ninety-five percent of people with HIV come to Columbia to receive health care because they are afraid that someone will find out that they are HIV-positive.”

As a result, Rain is lowering the number of uninsured HIV/AIDs individuals in the Mid-Missouri area. Rain reports that they serve just over 400 individuals in a typical year.

“Income is a barrier to a lot of things,” Mitchell said. “The amount of effort is certainly more, but it’s not impossible to help them.”

Family overcomes poverty with help, resources from community

Food lines the shelves of The Central Pantry, Thursday, July 15, 2015. The pantry is a service of The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. ADAM VOGLER/Missourian

Food lines the shelves of The Central Pantry, Thursday, July 15, 2015. The pantry is a service of The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. ADAM VOGLER/Missourian

Story written by Madeline Jarrard,

COLUMBIA – Success for some is simply finding a point in which they feel they can comfortably provide for their families.

Patsy Bulington, 66, recalls a time seven years ago when her family struggled to make ends meet. Her success story is not one of extravagant wealth, but of finding stability.

The Bulingtons’ financial struggles began when their lives were changed in an instant: A car accident left Bulington’s husband, Thomas Bulington, in serious condition. Her son was knocked unconscious in the crash, and both of Thomas Bulington’s feet were crushed.

“He was trapped,” Patsy Bulington said.

Her husband was completely immobilized for six months. He had been a truck driver before the crash, but he was now unable to move, much less work.

“They didn’t come right out and say it, but (the doctors) said that he would be lucky if he ever walked again,” she said.

She dedicated much of her time to caring for her husband, which impacted her job as a cook at the local school. To add to the family’s stress, her contract was not renewed the following spring.

“We were both unemployed for a year and a half,” she said.

That period of time was one of the hardest the family, including the three grandchildren Patsy Bulington was raising, had ever faced.

“We didn’t go anywhere or do anything,” she said. “We scraped money together.”

During this trial, the Bulington family found help at their local La Plata, Missouri, food bank. Without it, Patsy Bulington knows “the kids wouldn’t have had a whole lot to eat.”

Food lines the shelves of The Central Pantry, Thursday, July 15, 2015. The pantry is a service of The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, ADAM VOGLER/Missourian

Food lines the shelves of The Central Pantry, Thursday, July 15, 2015. The pantry is a service of The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, ADAM VOGLER/Missourian

Patsy Bulington was also thankful for friends who brought food from the food pantry to her house when she had to stay at home.

Sean Ross, supervisor for the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri in Columbia, said that he has seen many situations like the Bulingtons’.

“We help them right away,” he said of people that come to the food bank for the first time.

Ross said he has seen thousands of success stories in his 11 years at the food bank. The common theme he sees in these success stories is persistence.

The key, he said, is “recognizing you’re making progress.”

Although it took about four years for the Bulingtons to see tangible progress, they were persistent.

“Our future was uncertain at the time,”Patsy  Bulington said. “We took it one day at a time. … We had to start all over.”

The money was hard to come by. When foreclosure loomed, the Bulingtons fought to keep their house.

“We paid the bills and clung onto what was left to make ends meet,” Bulington said.

However, the sacrifices that the Bulingtons made paid off in the end. After six months in a hospital bed and three months rehabilitating in a wheelchair, Thomas Bulington returned to driving his truck.

In 2012, the couple applied for a job transporting campers from factories to the dealerships. Today, their finances have stabilized and they have traveled throughout 48 states and Canada moving trailers.

“We survived and got through it,” Bulington said. “I think it just made us stronger in the long run.”

Affordable addiction treatment hard to find for those without health care

Story written by Jordan Meier.

COLUMBIA — Stefie Sylvanog grew up surrounded by addiction.

Her mother was addicted to K2 and other drugs. Her stepfather was addicted to alcohol. She grew up without a lot of money.

“Addictions around here are easy to come by and hard to break,” said Sylvanog, 29, as she smoked a cigarette outside the women’s shelter where she lives.

Sitting at a picnic table outside St. Francis House, Sylvanog, who uses the name professionally for her photography business, said she is clean now except for the cigarettes, but she used to be addicted to the prescription drug Adderall.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one out of 10 Americans making less than $20,000 a year struggle with addiction. For many, the lack of money correlates to a lack of access to affordable treatment, which can create a barrier to overcoming addiction.

As she lights her fifth cigarette, Sylvanog tells the story of her addiction. When she was younger, doctors had her take extremely high doses of Adderall to control her ADHD. They started out giving her normal doses of the medication, but when her body stopped responding to it, the doctors just kept increasing the dosage. At one point she said she was taking 650 mg of the medication a day. According to the Food and Drug Administration, a normal dose of Adderall for children is 30 mg.

“250 mg in the morning, 150 mg in the afternoon, and 250 at night. You do the math,” she said.

When Sylvanog first tried to get off the medication, she went through major withdrawls and only lasted one week before she was forced by her father and grandparents to start taking it again, she said.

“Do I blame them? Yes. They couldn’t see that I was a child who didn’t need this s— in my system,” she said.

After moving in with her mom, Sylvanog said she continued to struggle with the addiction for years and even overdosed a few times.

“I was crying out for help and people were seeing it, but they didn’t know what to do,” she said.

Sylvanog said the only reason she was eventually able to get the treatment she needed was because she was under 18 and qualified for Medicaid. After signing up for Medicaid, Sylvanog went to a doctor and started getting off the pills. Once she was off Adderall, she went to a Boys and Girls home where she got therapy to work through some of the trauma she had experienced as a child.

“They saved my life,” Sylvanog said of her time at the Boys and Girls home.

If she were to need addiction treatment now, however, she would have a difficult time paying for it. Medicaid primarily covers adults with disabilities and low-income children and their parents in Missouri. She can’t afford private insurance.

Missouri does provide funding for treatment centers statewide, so patients without private insurance can get help. The majority of that funding historically has come from Medicaid. However, last year the Missouri Department of Mental Health added a new program called PR+, or Primary Recovery Plus.

“PR+ programs were largely modeled after the CSTAR General Population Programs but do not have some of the services available in CSTAR.  It offers a full continuum of services within multiple levels of care to assist individuals without Medicaid coverage,” said Debra Walker from the state’s department of mental health.

Comprehensive Substance Treatment and Rehabilitation (CSTAR) is the state’s Medicaid substance abuse treatment program.

Despite this, experts interviewed for this article as well as those in the state’s department of mental health agreed that treatment is still hard to come by for people without insurance.

“There are usually more individuals needing treatment than treatment providers can serve,” Walker said.

“The services are effective, there just isn’t enough of them,” said Denis McCarthy, a MU psychology professor specializing in alcohol addiction.

To Sylvanog, the solution is simple.

“Make treatment more available to those who need it and want it. That’s the key, people who want it,” she said. “Give people means to end the cycle.”

In Sylvanog’s experience, the closest thing a person without medical insurance gets to treatment is when he or she overdoses on drugs and goes to the hospital. Then the person can get clean and sober for a few days before being sent back out onto the streets.

“(The hospital) gives fare for a cab service and that’s about it. They have 4-5 days of sobriety and then they are back out on the streets doing the same s—,” Sylvanog said.

Americans who make more than $20,000 per year are less likely to be addicted to drugs or alcohol — about 7 percent of people with higher incomes are addicted to drugs compared to the 10 percent of people in the lowest income bracket, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

But people aren’t more likely to be addicted simply because they’re poor, Walker said.

“There is a correlation between household income and substance-use disorders. This is a complex relationship and a correlation does not mean that one causes another,” said Walker, adding that transportation can also be a challenge for people who don’t live close to treatment centers.

Even though portions of people in poverty do struggle with addiction, many of them want to get help, they just don’t know how to get it, said Sylvanog.

Central Missouri Community Action is working to solve that problem in Columbia. As part of the community outreach agency’s efforts to alleviate poverty in mid-Missouri, the organization helps people find treatment for addictions if they need it.

“People (in poverty) want more,” said Angela Hirsch, the agency’s community services director. “It’s simply an issue of not knowing how to get there.”

AVID program helps prepare Columbia students for college

Brittany Brown, 16, at Woodridge park Thursday, July 16, 2015. Brown, a senior at Battle High school, is in the Advancement Via Individual Determination program. EMILY ADAMS/Missourian

Brittany Brown, 16, at Woodridge park Thursday, July 16, 2015. Brown, a senior at Battle High school, is in the Advancement Via Individual Determination program. EMILY ADAMS/Missourian

Story written by Emily Adams.

COLUMBIA — With fall approaching — and with it, the dreaded college application season — Brittany Brown is surprisingly stress-free.

Brown, a senior at Battle High School in Columbia, credits her peaceful attitude to the Advancement Via Individual Determination program at her school.

Introduced in Columbia two years ago, the AVID program is meant to help motivated students prepare for college. Participants learn studying techniques, critical thinking, time management and self-assessment skills. Students enroll in advanced placement classes and receive help applying for colleges and scholarships.

Nationally, AVID programs serve a large percentage of students from disadvantaged backgrounds – 74 percent of participants qualify for free and reduced-priced lunches – but the program is open to anyone.

“A lot of people think AVID is designed strictly for low-income,” said Rachel Bennett, Battle High assistant principal and director of the AVID program there.

She said enrollment in AVID mirrors the larger student population at Battle, where about half the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

“To have a successful AVID program, it has to match the demographics of the school,” Bennett said. “You have to have kids who will be team players and really want it. They have to be a good fit for the program to be successful.”

In the most recent selection process, 207 students completed applications to join the program, she said. Of those, 162 were selected after written and oral interviews.

Brown, who survived the screening process for a second year, recommends that students apply again even if initially denied.

“AVID helps in a million ways” she said. “It prepared me for college, especially the part where you take AP classes … I used to fall asleep in those classes all the time.”

Brown said that, before joining AVID she focused more on her social life than studying.

“I had a 2.6 GPA freshmen year and it skyrocketed to a 3.2 after AVID,” she said. Brown’s grade point average now is high enough to be accepted by her No. 1 school, University of Tampa.

AVID also has helped Brown prepare for the cost of college, which she is paying for by working at Aeropostale. Brown said her mother is a single parent, and while the family’s income is high enough that she doesn’t qualify for free lunch, Brown expects to pay for college on her own. She hopes to find scholarships through AVID to help.

“I think everyone in my family has had a full-time job while in high school,” Brown said. “I’m working for it.”

Bennett said the program can help self-determined students of any socioeconomic status pay for an education.

“Most parents can’t afford to write a check for an $80,000 bachelor’s degree somewhere,” she said. “AVID works for these kids, to get them into college and find scholarships.”

Brown, who wants to study nursing and work with humanitarian agencies in Africa, said AVID helped her realize her own potential.

“I really do like challenges,” she said. “I think I would have found a way to persevere, one way or another.”

Refugee finds stability in Columbia

Story written by Aaron Carter.

 

COLUMBIA — One of the priorities in resettlement of refugees and immigrants is fostering self-reliance as quickly as possible.

“When you’re helpless you can’t do anything, except to not give up,” said Osmon Osmon, 46, a refugee from Eritrea, a small country in Africa near Sudan and Ethiopia. “I don’t believe in giving up, even if it is a struggle.”

Although Osmon arrived in Columbia in February 2014, the process was not swift.

When Osmon’s first attempt to gain refugee status was denied in 2007, he appealed. All Osmon could do was simply wait for the result from the United Nations embassy in Delhi, India. Finally a year later, the status was approved.

“Every Tuesday an (excessive) line of people would form outside of the United Nations embassy. They would take 60 people in as refugees, coming from over 15 different countries,” Osmon said.

Osmon and others had to revert to new methods — sometimes extreme methods — to be able to have a chance at gaining refugee status.

“It was very hard. We slept on the street, outside of the embassy, to be near the front of the line when Tuesday came around,” Osmon said.

Osmon spent many years in his native country of Eritrea, which had gone through a political split from Ethiopia. Eventually, he found a temporary home in India. There Osmon worked as a project manager and consultant for alcoholics and drug addicts for 17 years.

Although he has an education and professional skillset, finding a job in the same area can elude refugees and immigrants when they first arrive in the U.S.

Osmon works currently as a Walmart greeter, but has worked at factories as well as other places. After injuring his left hand as a child, he was told the factory job was not for him.

“I was open to any job available,” Osmon said.

Osmon does not earn enough money to own a car so he uses COMO Connect, Columbia’s public transit system, to get to work everyday except Sundays, when the transit system doesn’t operate.

“I pay a man $80 to pick me up and take me home on Sundays. I think that is an issue with the public bus system that needs to be changed,” Osmon said.

Many of the resources enabling Osmon to work toward self-sufficiency began with the organization that sponsored him.

The Refugee and Immigration Services Center — a service of Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri created in 1975 as a result of the Vietnamese Airlift — plays a big role in fostering stability within the refugee and immigrant population.

Katie Freehling, job developer, analyst and community outreach/volunteer coordinator for the organization, wants to make sure there is no misconception about refugees and immigrants.

“A refugee and an immigrant are two different things,” Freehling said. “Refugees are individuals who are forced to flee their country because of persecution; while an immigrant is someone who comes to the United States purposefully with the intention of having a more prominent role in society.”

The center wants to assure refugees a better life. That might mean putting them in jobs they might they might be overqualified for or that they might not enjoy.

“Beginning work early is really important to their success,” Freehling said. “We want them to know that their first job will not be their last job here.”

While dealing with the United Nations, Osmon was living on sporadic paychecks for his project manager job. That’s a big contrast from his life now where he receives paychecks every two weeks for his Walmart job, assuming perfect attendance, of course.

‘I prefer to be self-reliant than to be dependent on (the refugee center),” he said. “People have to find a way to fight and create for themselves.”.

During a panel discussion for the Missouri Urban Journalism Workshop, Freehling said that the center gives refugees certain opportunities that they might not have had in their home countries.

Each year, 150 refugees and immigrants are given this chance annually through The Refugee and Immigration Center in Columbia.

When people of other nationalities emigrate to the United States, they “have an opportunity to start their lives (over) again,” Freehling said.

Through Osmon’s personal experience with refugee organizations and the United Nations’ procedure, he said he recognizes the need for refining the financial and support structures so that there are better resources and opportunities for refugees.

“Putting all eggs in one basket is risky. You need to reach out to refugees (that’s how they’ll be successful),” Osmon said.

Nonprofit organization combats poverty with financial education

Story written by Samantha Nelson.

COLUMBIA – Over the years working at Central Missouri Community Action, Teri Roberts has seen many people walk in who are about to be phased off public assistance or who don’t have a good sense about how to manage their money.

“These people have already experienced what bad credit does for them, but they don’t realize how different their life can be with good credit,” Roberts said.

Roberts said she believes that a solid financial education can help combat symptoms of poverty. The classes she provides at Central Missouri Community Action range from budgeting to credit to home ownership, and each has benefits that can ease some of the effects of having a significant amount of debt while in poverty. These are separate classes, not just topics in a course.

Financial experts say it can seem as if there is no way out when people face a mountain of debt.

“They can’t make ends meet, and they end up at our agency needing to take advantage of services,” Roberts said. “So the more we can teach them how to budget the money they do have coming in and set goals and choose priorities as to where that money goes, the better they will be at taking care of themselves.”

The majority of clients Roberts and her agency serve are in poverty, and some who attend Roberts’ classes have bad credit, and large amounts of debt from payday loan companies. Loans from payday lenders and finance companies carry high annual percentage rates — as much as 391 percent — according to the Federal Trade Commission. Roberts acknowledged that these types of loans are often harmful to those without the means to pay them back on time.

“It becomes a vicious cycle,” Roberts said. “They take out the first one, they can’t make the payment, or they can’t pay it off, so they take out the second one to make the payment on the first.”

These types of loans can even lead to criminal charges against unsuspecting borrowers, who date their checks in advance but might not have enough funds in the bank when a lender comes to collect.

Almost everyone has an income, so almost everyone can have some form of debt. According to Debt.org, people with higher incomes typically can take on higher amounts of debt because they have the means to pay it off. Those with lower incomes have a harder time taking on large amounts of debt because with limited income comes limited options on how to spend money.

“The more debt someone has, the more income they’re spending on debt,” said Marco Pantoja, director of MU’s Office of Financial Success.

While higher income families might not worry about how much is spent paying off debts each month, those with lower incomes have to take extra care to monitor just how much debt they have.

For those with incomes that fluctuate, the amount of debt held can be expected to fluctuate as well, according to Debt.org.

“Year to year, you get unexpected income shocks,” Joseph Haslag, an MU economics professor, said. “For farmers, sometimes crops are better and sometimes they’re worse.”

Haslag explained that the quality of crops are directly related to a farmer’s income. When yields are higher, the farmer can afford to pay off more debts and save money. When yields are lower, debt can increase because the farmer needs money to cover all of his expenses.

The relationship between debt and income level goes further than being able to pay off debts. Haslag said that income also affects the amount of money lenders will allow people to borrow. Those with a higher income typically show that they have the means to pay off loans of higher amounts.

For Roberts, a coordinator at Central Missouri Community Action, helping people to better themselves is the aspect she loves most about her job, and sometimes those people come back to her in better financial shape.

“We even have an employee now in our agency who came from one of my classes,” Roberts said. “When I did the class with her, she was living with her parents; she had no driver’s license; she had no vehicle; and she was not in very good shape financially — no job. She landed a full-time job with us, has now gotten her driver’s license back, she’s purchased a vehicle and she’s now getting ready to move out on her own.”

Roberts said she is inspired every day by the hard work and dedication shown by her clients who want to improve their lives and financial situations.

“It’s not work when you do something that you love,” Roberts said. “ At the end of the day, I love knowing that I helped someone.”

BREAKOUT BOX:

If you need financial education, please contact Central Missouri Community Action at (573) 777-5276 or the Family Impact Center at (573) 882-2428.

NOTE: The woman mentioned in the second-to-last quote is featured in Maddie Jarrard’s story about Mary Taylor.