When asked this question, I found it difficult to answer. There are many reasons why I do what I do. The socially correct answer being “because I want to help people” or maybe it is because I get great satisfaction seeing people move forward in life.
The real reason comes down to my past history and how it has shaped me over the last 22 years.
When I was first going to college, I frequently changed career fields. I wanted work in the hotel industry, as a nurse, and even a teacher. I couldn’t seem to find my focus. During this process, I had several people tell me “you never finish what you start.” I heard this from my parents, my ex-husband, and his family. They were correct during that time in my life; passion for my work was lacking. Then I became a single mom. I went back to school for a degree in Developmental Psychology, and once again heard “you’ll never get a job with that degree.”
I was on a mission to prove to all the naysayers how wrong they were. I would finish this degree and get a job no matter what it took. I had a daughter to provide for, and she was my inspiration and passion. I was on TANF and wanted to prove that it is possible to move forward through life’s difficulties with determination and hard work. I lived in a housing situation where it was normal to stay home with your children and let others take care of me, a job being only the remotest of possibilities. This wasn’t going to happen to me.
I graduated from College and I was able to find my first paying job at $6.35 per hour working with people with disabilities at another agency. After another couple of years, I looked towards working in a larger setting so I could impact more individuals who wanted to enter the workforce. I came to Career Path Services in 1998. I loved working with the people and watching them grow and find success.
In 2007, I found myself at a crossroads. I wanted to have an impact in bettering the lives of people I served, but I had come full circle and wanted to try something different. I wanted to help those at the beginning, who were in a place of frustration and loss of self. I understood their situation, and wanted to show these people struggling with their dreams that there is hope and the possibility for success. I moved to the Career Path Services’ Commerce Unit, and the daily interactions I have with our parents make me appreciate where I have been, where I am now, and where I am headed in the future.
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