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The Color of Money by Michelle Singletary, Personal Finance Columnist
THE COLOR OF MONEY CHALLENGE

2010 Color of Money Challenge: Christine Foote

Prisoners who are set for release from the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women take part in Michelle Singletary's Color of Money Challenge. She will work with them through the year to develop stronger financial habits as they finish their sentences and then start again to rebuild their lives.

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Christine Foote

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Age: 33

Background: Foote grew up in a middle-income family in Wicomico County, Md. She has a 14-year-old daughter, Samantha.

She has an associate of applied science degree in business management from Wor-Wic Community College in Salisbury, Md., and was pursuing a bachelor's degree at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Foote says she had a good, stable childhood. She attributes her criminal trouble to wanting to be on her own too soon and hooking up with the wrong men, which often led to physically abusive relationships. "I'm not blaming the men, because I could have made better decisions," she says. "It took me going to prison to look at everything that I do."

Criminal history: In 2007, Foote was sentenced to 10 years for felony theft. She was convicted of stealing more than $68,000 from her employer, a roofing company in Salisbury. She had been working as an administrative assistant.

Foote has had a few other run-ins with the law, including a conviction for submitting a false insurance claim, which is under appeal. She is scheduled to be released on parole this month.

The plan: Foote has been doing statistical data entry as part of a job-training program.

It's been difficult trying to find a job for her, especially in this economy. To help earn some money, Foote will be selling products for Pure Romance, an in-home direct sales company. She estimates she can earn a minimum $250 in commissions for each party she sets up. Her goal is to plan two to three parties a week.

"I want to find something else, a 40-hour-a-week job with benefits," she said.


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