My name is Keba and I am a 44 year old single mom of a 23 year old girl and a 13 year old boy. Living in a neighborhood where youth gang activity is prevalent, I have successfully held my children to high expectations of achievement. My son is a honor student despite negative peer pressure to succumb to delinquent behaviors and my daughter is a graduate of ITT Tech and is working full-time for a television and cable broadcasting company. It hasn’t always been easy for me, in fact, it’s been a rough road early in my life.
My mother was killed when I was in high school and I didn’t know how to cope with all of the intense emotions related to losing a parent in such a violent way. So I dropped out of high school and fell in with the wrong crowd, and had my son with an abusive man whom I had been in an unhealthy relationship with. I survived the domestic violence and cut him out of my life. He is currently serving a 24 year prison sentence for murder.
I have always worked to support my family, but was unemployed for 2 years before applying to Women’s Bean Project. I was looking for a job and all of the places I applied for turned me down, except for Women’s Bean Project. It was hard for me in job interviews because I was previously laid off and had no self-esteem.
When I walked into the Bean Project to apply, I liked what I saw. Everything about the program sounded like it was speaking just to me and what I needed in order to gain better job skills, and to work on areas of my life I was lacking in. Now I have hope because Women’s Bean Project has given me back my self-worth and the opportunity to create a better future for myself and my family. I’m so happy knowing that I will never give up.
After 6 months of learning new job skills in production and shipping, and working hard on life skills to help build my self-confidence, I was connected with a potential job opportunity at CoorsTek through a partnership the Bean Project has with Activate Workforce Solutions. After going to the informational session and interview process, I was offered a position as Quality Control Inspector 1. I am so excited for the opportunity and all that I have learned at Women’s Bean Project. Now I have a full-time job waiting for me when I graduate next week with opportunity to grow and to receive health benefits for me and my son.
I won’t have to rely on food stamps anymore and can finally have stability for me and my son.
~Keba, 2016-17 Program Participant/Graduate