Going Down the Right PATH
Sara Wyman had been in and out of the PATH program since 2008, but things were different this time when she came to the Alpena Michigan Works! office for her AEP/PATH orientation. Sara was ready to make a permanent change!
Sara, a single mother of three children all under the age of nine, had worked with Michigan Works! before, but she never made it very far in the self-sufficiency programs. This time she came in with an incentive – she would push herself for her children’s sake.
When Michigan Works! Case Manager Trainer, Michelle Burns, started working with Sara, she found Sara had many barriers to employment. She was unemployed, lacked her GED, lacked transportation, lacked appropriate job search/work clothing, lacked a birth certificate, and was also homeless.
With the help of a team of Michigan Works! staff, including Talent Specialists Mary Davis, Barb Timm and Keri Collins, as well as Case Manager Trainer Tina LaMarre, Michelle started to tackle each obstacle one by one. Michigan Works! provided Sara with resources to apply for housing assistance, referred Sara to ACES Academy to begin her GED completion, provided support services to obtain appropriate job search/work clothing, and provide a one-time auto purchase.
One of Sara’s biggest obstacles in finding permanent employment was her lack of a GED and transportation. For a while she was self-employed in part-time house cleaning and babysitting, but after putting in work towards obtaining her GED and receiving assistance to purchase a vehicle, Sara was able to secure permanent employment with Sunrise Side Home Health Care Agency as a Home Health Aide - exactly the career path she wanted to be in.
One lesson Sara learned is to take things day-by-day and eventually her efforts will pay off. Sara is still working towards successfully completing her GED and plans to continue her education by going on to college to become an RN.
Sara describes her Michigan Works! experience saying Michigan Works! is great at giving advice on how to dress in an interview and search for jobs. She took their advice and took everything seriously, doing what was advised. She hopes her story can inspire others and she thanks Michigan Works! for letting her share her success story and her Michigan Works! journey.