Kat came to our office after being released from incarceration, seeking help to rebuild her life and find a new “normal” way of life. Her main goal was to find employment that would allow her to support herself and her daughter. Even though she had an impressive educational background with a double bachelor’s degree, she still faced many challenges due to the stigma of her past.
Despite the tough road head, Kat was determined to succeed and willing to do whatever it took to reach her goals. She decided to join our Wisconsin Works (W-2) program with a clear goal in mind: to get a job and a permanent home. Since the beginning, Kat was honest about her mistakes and how they affected her, but would not let them define her. She was willing to work hard and learn new skills to overcome the barriers that lay ahead.
Kat worked closely with her case manager to identify her strengths, skills and interests, and to explore various employment opportunities. She also talked about her passion for helping other women who were in similar situations as hers. Her dream was to start a non-profit organization that would help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women navigate the systems and get the best possible outcomes to support their families.
With the guidance and support of her case manager, Kat took the necessary steps to achieve her dream. She started by volunteering with the Harvest House Ministries as a peer support person, where she could use her own experience to help others in similar situations. She also brushed up her interviewing skills and applied for various jobs.
Kat soon landed a full-time position at a family care center. She was thrilled to finally have a stable income and a meaningful role in the community. But she did not stop there. She continued to look for better opportunities and soon received another full-time job offer at a company where she would have more benefits and career advancement potential. She accepted the offer and worked with her case manager to transition smoothly between her jobs.
Today, Kat is now in the process of moving into her own place! She is still passionate about helping women who are facing the criminal justice system and hopes to start her own non-profit organization someday.
“I have worked so hard, it’s true, but I also do want to praise God for sending me all the people to help in my life,” says Kat. “All of the opportunities, the correcting, the redirecting, my kids, my discernment education, and my friends and family. My support system has been small but strong and I’m so thankful.”
Kat is an example of what can be achieved when someone has the courage, motivation, and support to overcome their past and pursue their future. We are honored to have been part of her journey and we look forward to seeing her continue to grow and succeed.
Learn how the Wisconsin Works (W-2) program can help parents achieve their family-supporting dreams.