Shauna Cain sets an example for public housing residents. She shares a story about the importance of opportunity and education and her own diligence in completing her education. This was her ticket to move up and out of RHA and find a successful career.

“I am living proof to that. I took full advantage of the opportunities that Rockford Housing Authority gave me,” Shauna says, “I was working and trying to take care of my kids, but I can honestly tell you without the Family Self Sufficiency program, I don’t know what I would have done.”

Education Empowerment from Rockford Housing Authority on Vimeo.

When her journey started, she decided to go back to school. With two small children to raise, her finances became more of an issue than she anticipated and she needed to drop out.  She found work and then after a few years, by corporate change, was voluntarily laid off. She could have lost hope, but she saw this as her opportunity to go back to school.  She had one new barrier… the day that she was laid off and decided to complete her degree, Shauna was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

“When I was fighting breast cancer, I went forward, I had to fight and I feel that took a lot of courage, because some people don’t fight at all,” said Shauna.


Friends and family were key players in Shauna’s recovery and her commitment to concurrently completing her education. During her battle with cancer, with FSS program help, she was able to complete her degree in accounting with a minor in religion. Shauna immediately continued her education to get her Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Shortly thereafter she was offered an internship with UTC Aerospace Systems and is now a full-time employee in the Finance Department.

“Education is very important to those who are in housing. I hope they take advantage of any course or classes and take the time in housing and use it to go to school and educate themselves. Education is the key, your way out; it can make your dreams come true,” Shauna believes.


Shauna Cain believes in improving Rockford, educational empowerment and grasping opportunity. Shauna is I Am Rockford.

To learn more about the FSS Program watch this video:

Family Self-Sufficiency Program from Rockford Housing Authority on Vimeo.