Linda Hall | Evanston, Ill.
I chose this photo because to me it symbolizes the changes in my neighborhood and in my life. In 2009, I had just lost my job and knew that I needed to get my chimney relined. That combined with getting doors made for the front was going to cost over $7,000. Instead I opted to convert to a wood burning stove for less than half the price. It's more practical, less expensive and more environmentally sound. When I'm home on cold days I can run the stove and not run my furnace. The papers in front of the fireplace were my study aids that helped me pass the exam to become a certified Project Management Professional -- a class I took through the Workforce Improvement Act. Everyone I know is cutting back and many people are looking to improve and expand their skill sets in the hope that knowing more will make them more attractive both personally and professionally.