Amber Kapiloff Stone grew up in Farmington. She left to get a degree at UMaine, spent a few obligatory years traveling and exploring and, of course, living in Portland. In the end she came back to Farmington. She is your stereotypical “boomerang” kid.
High Cost of Living in Rural Maine
Amber had never been a steadfast career girl. She didn’t have a very clear plan throughout college but was drawn to non-profits and public education. It’s not exactly a million-dollar dream, but it has always been what she is good at. She knew that with her resume heading in a low-to-moderate-income direction, and moving to rural Maine, she was going to face some challenges. She had never been a big spender, but then she had a kid. Then she had another.
Raising children is expensive! Between her toddler’s childcare bill, going through five different formulas in an attempt to find one that doesn’t make her infant sick, the ridiculously expensive car seat (buying used is frowned upon in the parent world), and all of the numerous little things like emergency after school snacks for sanity purposes, socks that fit, and diapers…holy cow.
Help from Local Agencies and the EITC
With class offerings at New Ventures Maine and the countless offerings at United Way of the Tri-Valley Area, she has been able to make her non-profit career dream come true. Her husband is a part time carpenter, he works when he can. However most of the time they are a single source income family, with part time childcare, and an infant at home. She maintains her pride and joy minivan herself with the help of YouTube videos. She has thousands in student loans.
“The EITC, which we received through Western Maine CA$H, helps us stay above water. And not just above water, but up on the boat. It’s not a yacht, but we’re happy. And we just bought our first home which we couldn’t have done without a large chunk of our down payment coming from the EITC. So, to us it’s a yacht.”