I am a 24-year-old single mother to a 2–year-old boy, Tyler, and am a 2006 graduate of Belmont High School. I started my first job directly out of high school as an assistant to state Sen. Mark C. Montigny’s chief of staff. I voluntarily left my position in 2010 to pursue academic and career interests in human services.
I always knew that it was my desire to develop a fulfilling career within the field of human services because of my grandmother’s dedicated work for the mentally ill.
Despite my ambition to pursue the career and academic interests that I mentioned, life threw me a few curve balls, and within a year I found myself as a single, unemployed mother. I felt resentment for the poor choices I made for leaving a secure job and choosing an unreliable father for my son. I felt like a statistic.
During the year and a half that I was out of work, I received cash and food stamp benefits for my son and myself, and although those services were a help, I knew that I needed more, wanted more, and was worth more than what I had allowed myself to settle into.
In December 2011, I decided to make a change and visited the Dudley Square Transitional Assistance Office. After reading Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries’ flier on the Human Service Employment Ladder Program (HELP) in the office, I applied and was thrilled to be accepted in the class starting in January 2012. Once in the class, I felt employable again and was able to craft a résumé that reflected my previous human services and volunteer work. I was now motivated and determined to succeed.
The highlight of my experience with HELP was the opportunity to interview with several great employers as part of the class, including Vinfen, a local nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities. During my interview, Vinfen recognized my passion for the mentally ill and I have been successfully employed with them since March 2012 as a resident counselor II in the psychiatric rehabilitation division.
I’m grateful for all of the services and experiences that were provided to me by Goodwill. By completing the HELP program, I have gained self-sufficiency, independence and happiness in my role as a single mother.
I am looking forward to furthering my education at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies and hope that my story encourages people to continue to support the mission of Goodwill. I am proof that Goodwill is truly not a charity, but a chance.