Kathy was a single mother, surviving with government assistance and fed up with dead-end jobs. “I didn’t like my situation at all,” Kathy shares. “I was in a dark, stuck place, and literally on the verge of depression.” Although Kathy’s family held a strong work ethic, they did not encourage her to push beyond her high school education and secure a better future for herself and two small children.
As a Williamson County resident, Kathy had passed by the church that houses Begin Anew (a United Way partner) on many occasions. A sign in the church yard promoted free job skills and computer classes. “When I looked in my kids’ faces I said, ‘I have to do better for you.’ And I wanted to do better for myself,” Kathy explains. So, she decided to give the classes a try.
Reliable transportation was a challenge, but this did not stop Kathy from attending weekly computer classes. She also learned, for example, how to write a resume and prepare for job interviews. While attending class, Begin Anew provided free childcare. Kathy enjoyed the comfort of being in a stress-free environment with passionate mentors. “I could forget everything else and just focus on what was in front of me.” For a year and a half, mentors nurtured Kathy’s confidence and encouraged her to envision a rewarding future. They also encouraged her to enroll in the Social Work program at Columbia State.
United Way’s financial stability partners empower individuals to overcome the obstacles of poverty. Kathy received education and mentoring that expanded her outlook and set her on the course to financial independence. Without Begin Anew, “I would have remained in the cycle of trying to maintain rather than setting goals.”
With her degree in hand, Kathy found a Human Resources position and utilizes her social work education to manage employee relations. Kathy now has job security and a promising career.