"An answered prayer" — that's how Ina describes the educational scholarship for her son through her employer, HireSmart Virtual Employees.
Ina, an employee of HireSmart since May 2022, and her husband, Mark, have two young boys, Isaiah Ambert, "Ice," 4, and Ishaan Amani, "Amani," 2.
Ina applied for an educational scholarship for her son, "Ice," through HireSmart so that he could attend a local Kumon school, which specializes in teaching reading and math to young children. HireSmart CEO Anne Lackey informed Ina that her family received one of 19 HireSmart scholarships this school year.
"I was so thankful, she said. "I felt so blessed in that moment when Anne confirmed that I got the scholarship. I was actually thanking God for it because I prayed for it. My husband and I both prayed for it (the scholarship)."
Ina shed tears when talking about receiving the scholarship, noting that her family could not enroll Ice in Kumon without financial assistance. She said giving her kids the best education possible is a priority for the family.
"If not for the scholarship, we wouldn't be able to have our child enrolled in the school," she said. "So it's really a great help for us. We can see how our kid is developing and see how much he has learned."
Ina said Ice is an inquisitive, confident, and empathetic boy who loves watching "Blippi," learning about animals, and is fascinated with excavators, garbage trucks, and other big machinery.
"He's also a part of our church choir, so he loves to sing," she said, adding that he always asks questions about whatever he sees and hears.
Ina and her family attend church on Sundays and spend time doing fun activities on Saturdays.
"We go out or play in indoor playgrounds," she said. "We also love swimming, so we go to beaches whenever there's a time."
Ina said her son enjoys attending school and asks about it when he's not there.
"They (Kumon) are teaching the kids to have independence when it comes to learning to study at home," she said. "I would say that it's really true because, at 4, our child can already study independently."
Ina said her job at HireSmart working for a U.S. client in the community association management industry is a blessing.
She enjoys being able to work from home and watch over her young children.
"As a parent, you will always think of your kids whenever you're not at home, so I believe it will be really tough working in an office-based company right now for me," she said. "So HireSmart is very a big blessing for us."