WHAT A DIFFERENCE A JOB MAKES!
Leslie has always loved being a stay at home mother to her sons, ages 3 and 5. However, this life style abruptly changed two years ago when her relationship with the boys’ father ended. Financial constraints forced her to move into a small two-bedroom apartment with her mom and her sons. She knew she needed work that would provide for her family, but she was unsure of how to find it.
Leslie came to Employment Action Center for help. After receiving assistance in locating and paying for childcare, she enrolled in Job Club services where she took career assessment inventories, created a résumé for the first time, and enhanced her interviewing skills. She also learned how her life skills, such as creativity and dedication, could benefit her marketability to employers. In Leslie’s words, “The staff at EAC were there to show me how to get my foot in the door so I could walk through the door and be successful.”
After building her confidence working a seasonal position in retail, Leslie began to volunteer where her passion lies: helping children. In four months, she went from volunteering to full-time employment at her sons’ childcare center. She is indispensable in the baby room, and lends her creativity to the toddler classrooms when time permits. Leslie’s sons love seeing their mother throughout the day, and Leslie feels proud of her ability to provide for her family and interact with her sons while at work.
As a result of her increased income, her family was able to move into a duplex where everyone has their own room—a place that feels like home. Leslie looks forward to beginning school at Rasmussen College next month, where her employer will pay for her courses in Early Childhood Education. She hopes to become a head teacher and give other children the same care and support that she is now able to give to her own sons.
“I would like to say ‘thank you’ to my Job Counselor and the Job Club staff for all their help! It paid off!”
As a teen mother, Emily had the odds stacked against her when she arrived at Employment Action Center. Emily knew that her first goal would be to find a job. While attending job club, she networked with everyone she could. It was by networking that Emily found another woman in job club who had just been hired as a debt collector. Emily got the contact information for the position and after submitting a résumé and meeting with the employer, she obtained a job only one month after coming to EAC. Since starting her job as a debt collector, she gets regular raises and medical benefits. Emily’s personal goals have also been accomplished since she started working. She quickly obtained a drivers license and has recently moved into her own apartment with her son. Emily also plans to go to college next year to pursue studies in the medical field. Emily states that, “Life has become a lot better, I’ve matured, I now have priorities, and I know what is important.” Emily now has hope for the future.
As a child, I grew up in an abusive home. My father would hit my mother and then when he lef,t my mother would hit us kids. My parents divorced when I was 8 years old. As kids we lived in subsidized housing and then later became homeless. As far as I know since the age of 3, my family was on welfare. At the age of 14, I dropped out of school. At 16, I moved out.
I knew that there was a different life I could live and wanted to live. I settled down with a boy and a few short months after, I was pregnant with my son. Just a year later I found myself in the welfare office in downtown Minneapolis, single, beat up, and with my two month old. It was the hardest time of my life.
At 18, I met a woman who worked at Employment Action Center. She listened to my story and took me under her wing. She taught me more than I think either one of us intended and helped me set goals. At 19, I started classes toward my G.E.D. I worked hard and accomplished this goal in a few short months.
I told my employment counselor about a goal I had had since I was a little girl, becoming a Registered Nurse. She believed that I could make it and I started on my way. I was 20 years old when I started college. EAC bought my first pair of shoes and my first uniform for school. I worked really hard, taking ten buses a day, 5 ½ hours a day, sleeping less than four hours a night on average; a lot of times none at all. I did this for five years and the last 3 years I worked a part time job at the school gaining great work experience and skills.
I am now 25 years old, I am educated, I am skilled, I am a good mom and I am a Registered Nurse. I know for a fact that without this program, I not only would not be the person I am today, but also the mother I am.
Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the Greater Twin Cities Area of Minnesota