A Change Worth Making
“I have met some really good people through this journey,” says Angela. When she moved back to her home state of Wisconsin with her children, after years away, Angela’s family and friends where long gone. She wanted a fresh start, but it seemed like the only familiar thing was the scenery. Then she joined WIOA and got the support she needed to build her new life.
“Without the WIOA program, I don’t know what I would’ve done,” Angela tells us. “As much as I’d like to think I would’ve made it through regardless, I can’t help but look back and see how these programs and people made an impact on my life.” Angela wanted to become a nurse, but the “financial challenges were constant as a single parent trying to survive as a college student.” WIOA helped fund her education and get her the resources she needed to make college work. When she needed fuel to get to class and clinical sites, WIOA helped provide vouchers. When her car suddenly broke down during her last semester, they helped her get the resources to fix it.
Her counselors provided guidance she could rely on throughout life’s ups and downs. “Jamie was my counselor when I needed someone to talk to, even if just to vent,” says Angela. “I cried, I laughed and know if it wasn’t for her there’s a very strong chance I wouldn’t have continued to push through. I don’t even have all the words to explain how much her support continues to mean to me today.”
Today, Angela works full-time as a nurse, and she is financially independent for the first time since her move. Her children have a place to call home, and she says that hers was a change worth making. Now, instead of trying to survive, she’s focusing on improving the lives of those around her. She tutors, works with the elderly, and hopes to go back to school for her bachelors in nursing. “I hope to make a positive difference for those whose lives I am able to impact,” she says.
We know you will! Congratulations, Angela!
“I am doing things that most women wouldn’t believe they could do,” says Heather, a recent graduate of the TrANS program. Heather joined Wisconsin Works to get back into the workforce, but she never expected her case manager to recommend construction as an option. When she looked at her two small children, however, Heather realized that she could achieve anything for them. That was all it took to get Heather on the road to the career she always wanted.
Heather quickly learned that making good money was just one benefit of working in construction. “I liked pushing myself to learn the things that I didn’t know and surprised myself with how well I was doing,” Heather tells us. Her instructor Lorie encouraged her to learn different skills and career paths in construction. “She had confidence in me, and as I learned the material, passed the trainings, and completed the program, I realized I could do everything that Lorie said I could.”
On Lorie’s advice, Heather signed up to earn her CDL. “Before I even started at the driving school, I had a contractor interested in hiring me,” she says. The day she graduated, they actually asked her up to their corporate office to offer her a better position with more hours. “I had my second daughter in October – soon after that had joined TrANS. Now I’m on my way to giving one of the best futures to my beauties! They deserve it!! I’m so happy to be a mom, excited, and so pumped now for learning new ways to be creative in the field I desire – never would have thought it.”
“This job means that I will be able to provide for my kids, to be a responsible parent. It has made me feel better about myself, more secure in what I do and what I can do in the future. This is the job that I have always wanted. I love it!”
Heather is currently doing roadwork with Payne & Dolan. When asked what advice she’d give others, she says to listen to others who are trying to help, because “sometimes they see your abilities better than you see them in yourself.”
Well done, Heather!