Kate’s Pride and Joy

In July 2017, Kate was sitting in her parent’s living room, rocking her newborn baby, and thinking about her future. She had already started college and was working to become a medical laboratory technician. As a single mother, however, she felt completely overwhelmed, wondering how to afford school while taking care of her baby. She knew she had to look for a way to make her dream possible. “When I decided to contact the W-2 office, I was anxious, because asking for help is not easy,” says Kate. “But sometimes being strong means asking for help.”

A wave of relief and hope swept over Kate as soon as she met her team. “When I met [my case manager] Amanda, I knew that she was going to be a person I could trust and confide in,” Kate explains. “She’s knowledgeable… and I looked forward to our meetings, because our discussions would boost my morale, and I would leave with new goals.”

As Kate grew, W-2 adapted to her needs. She started by learning how to balance college with a newborn. As her little boy learned to walk and talk, she earned her first summer job in the field. By her second year, her outstanding performance earned her the honor of being her program’s graduation speaker. “I had a sense of pride from all that I had accomplished in two years and couldn’t help but smile when I thought about my son, knowing it was all for us,” she says, adding “I know he will understand my sacrifices one day, and I hope that he looks to me as an example throughout his life.”

“Asking for help or confiding in people we trust can help us achieve our goals or motivate us to keep going,” says Kate. “The Wisconsin Works program helped me re-establish myself as a working member of society by believing in my goals, encouraging and helping me find solutions when I met obstacles, and providing me with financial assistance that helped me achieve them.”

Kate recently started her career as Medical Laboratory Technician with SSM Health and could not be happier. “The last two years of my life have laid the foundation for my future,” she says with a smile. “Attending college full-time would have been difficult without the support of the W-2 program. I am very thankful for the program and the people who make it possible.”

Congratulations, Kate!