P.A.T.H. Program Provides Appreciation, Respect, New Career for Single Mother
During the pandemic, it has been increasingly difficult for people to feel connected and supported. When Lynn came to the Partnership. Accountability. Training. Hope. (PATH) program (P.A.T.H.) program at Michigan Works! Southwest, she and her two young children had recently escaped an unsafe living situation.
“We had left a very bad situation for the last five years,” Lynn said. “We have started over completely.”
The 33-year-old former stay-at-home mom needed money and food for her family, so she turned to P.A.T.H. She said she immediately enjoyed it because it gave her what she had been missing: structure and support.
“[P.A.T.H.] gave me goals I had to meet,” Lynn said. “I was a stay-at-home mom for five years, so it was nice to have goals. It was like a to-do list, and when I finished, I got a big ol’ checkmark.”
Even though she has not been able to meet staff in person because of the pandemic, Lynn said the support she received from the Kalamazoo Service Center staff made a big difference.
“The support I received from everybody in the P.A.T.H. program was huge,” Lynn said. “When you go through something like that, you feel so alone. To find people who care about you and support you… It was huge.”
Lynn also gives a lot of credit to her Career Coach Diana Easter.
“Diana, on her own, she’s gotten me through a lot of the hurdles we’ve had, emotional and everything else,” Lynn said. “She’s pretty amazing.”
And Diana was equally as impressed with Lynn.
“Lynn was distraught, had low self-esteem and was frightened,” Diana said. “Now, beaming with happiness feels safe and confident. She is self-driven to assure that her children and self are safe, to strive for a healthy and happy lifestyle.”
Lynn describes herself as a “Successful Survivor” now and jokes that her “middle name should include ‘tenacity.’”
Lynn worked hard over the past six months and earned both a Medical Assistant and Medical Transcription certification. She is also receiving assistance through the YWCA for her and her children including counseling and a legal advocate. On the job preparation side of things, Lynn received resume assistance from Internship and Resource Coordinator Ben Hoger and job searching assistance from Business Services Representative Lynette Page.
All of Lynn’s tenacity paid off when she secured her first job in five years as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She was able to get work clothes purchased for her through P.A.T.H., and even completed Medical Technologist training, which earned her a pretty significant raise at her job.
Lynn is now off the P.A.T.H. program but will continue to receive support. She is working part-time, which she says is perfect because it allows her to have plenty of time with her family in a safe environment.
“It’s almost indescribable,” Lynn said. “It’s honestly quite surreal. Being somewhere where you are appreciated and respected both at work and at home is something I never thought I’d have.”If you or someone you know could benefit from the PATH program, please contact the Michigan Works! Southwest service center nearest you.