In 2016, Megan Mottley‘s daughter wanted to go on a mission trip to Japan. She knew how important this trip was to her because she had been studying Japanese for the previous three years. Unfortunately, they only had two months to raise $3500. As a single mother overwhelmed with debt, she had no idea how she would make her daughter’s dream trip a reality.

They set out to do a fundraiser to raise the funds but it completely flopped. Her daughter was devastated so she came up with a backup plan — baking cookies. Her backup plan become her master plan because in less than 8 weeks she raised $5000. Not only was her daughter able to go on her trip, but she helped three other students raise funds for their mission trip as well.

The next year, Megan enjoyed making money doing something she loved so much that she decided to become an official business — Goodness Gracious Cookies . While things were going well for her business, Megan wanted to move from “good” to “great. That’s when she learned about Operation HOPE’s Entrepreneur Training Program from a local small business association and met a new friend and supporter, her financial wellbeing coach, Trudy.

During the course of the class, Megan’s personal life was in turmoil. At times the challenges she was facing seemed too heavy to bear making it hard to focus in class. One day, she expressed her doubts and fears to Trudy, and she refused to let her quit. She listened to Megan describe what she thought were obstacles and recast them as hurdles that they could jump over together.Working with Trudy, Megan’s confidence and credit score substantially increased. Together, they improved her scores by more than 100 points, landing her in HOPE’s 700-Credit-Score-Community.

Megan graduated the ETP course last April, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Her business was featured on ABC’s “The View” and  has provided cookies to major corporations including NIKE, FedEx, Hilton, St. Jude, Shelby County Schools, Terminix and many more.