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lease A. Wiggins teaches sociology at LaGuardia Community College. Through her work, she encountered a significant number of women who were dealing with many personal issues and were asking for her assistance. And because she couldn’t individually assist everyone who sought help, she found a way to help everyone at once and wrote the book “A Farewell to Welfare: 25 Strategies to Freedom, Independence and Prosperity.” Released by Amazon.com June 2, and retailing for $19.95, the book includes a system of planning and motivational techniques with proven results that Wiggins has experienced and practiced herself, the same 25 strategies helped her achieved success and that single mothers can use to transition from welfare to no government assistance.
In addition to her position as an adjunct professor at LaGuardia Community College, Wiggins is the founder of Elease LLC; a single mother of two; a Loving Yourself First Everyday skills trainer, coach and speaker; and a consultant. “Elease LLC, which stands for Loving, Living, Creating,” is a consulting firm that focuses on speaking, publishing, training, consulting and coaching.
“Before I applied for public assistance, I knew it would only be temporary,” Wiggins told the AmNews. “As a sociology professor, I know firsthand about the growing number of women and children living in poverty in this country, and I did not want my children added to this number.” Studies show that the numbers of women and children who are on public assistance have increased. However, a federal budget proposed in 2011 and still being considered, the Path of Prosperity budget, will, if passed, eliminate many social service programs by 2025. Wiggins discusses this budget in her book.
Wiggins is proud to acknowledge that her students at LaGuardia Community College were the inspiration for the book. “My students know that I have been where most of them are, and regardless of what I have gone through, I was still able to achieve my dream while helping others,” she said. “My students view me as a role model, a coach, someone they feel comfortable sharing the intimate details of their life with, without judgement or criticism. My students know I want them all to go out into the world, share their gifts and do great things.”
Wiggins’ children, daughter Malika, 10, and son Malik, 5, know all about her work. At first they were tired of hearing that she was writing a book to help women get off welfare because it meant they couldn’t spend time with her. But after they saw the final product, they were proud and inspired to write books of their own. Wiggins plans to be the co-author of a children’s book with Malika. “This book will deal with parent separation from a child’s perspective,” she explained. “The second book I will co-author is with my dad,” she said. “My dad was incarcerated for 27 years, and we are writing to speak of the effects of prison and how it has affected our father and daughter relationship.”
Even though she has many writing projects, her main focus is to help women overcome poverty.
The official launch of her book will be held Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Tea Room, located at 452 Pine St., Brooklyn, N.Y.