As a young single parent of two young children, Sara wanted to make a change in her life but didn’t know how. She was feeling depleted and knew there was more out there in life for her. After doing a little digging and asking around, she discovered FSC would be the place that would point in her in the right direction on what next steps to take.
The Right Fit
When Sara walked through our doors, she was met with her Career Specialist, Colt who guided her through the different programs and options available to her. They discussed her past and current obstacles as well as her goals for her future. With having her own issues with substance abuse in the past, Sara had a dream of helping others by becoming an AODA counselor. Colt knew that the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth program would be the right fit for her to make her dreams come true. Together, they quickly got to work on the enrollment process.
At first, Sara worked a variety of part-time jobs at gas stations and restaurants just to make ends meet. With being enrolled in WIOA, Sara now was able to get the inside access on high-quality job opportunities in her area. With an updated resume in hand from our training courses and her interviewing skills revamped, she landed her first full time job at a human services agency. This job opportunity gave Sara the financial stability she needed to be able go to school and support her family at the same time.
Time to Dive Right In
When Sara was ready to take the plunge to enroll in school, she met with her WIOA team to get an action plan nailed down. They helped her apply to different schools nearby, fill out financial aid applications and plan for a successful future in college. Sara enrolled in the Substance Abuse Counseling program at Northcentral Technical College and was off to a great start. After a stellar first semester and completing the program, Sara knew she was college material.
As she continued her college career, Sara sought out tuition assistance through the WIOA Adult Program and Support to Communities program. Both programs were able to provide her assistance with along with additional supportive services from the WIOA Youth program. This assistance and extra added support made it easier for Sara to concentrate on what was most important to get through college successfully.
Steps in the Right Direction
Fast forward to the future, and Sara is currently in her last two semesters of school. She now has received a Technical Diploma for Human Services Assistant and is working on another degree. On top of that, this December she will have five years of sobriety under her belt; a huge personal accomplishment. When not busy with school, work and family, Sara finds time to give back to her community. She regularly volunteers at the Sobriety House in Portage County where she is a mentor; helping with intake, eligibility, applications, budgeting, and providing support to those who live there.
And if that wasn’t enough, Sara started a new supervisor role as the Food Service Coordinator at the Boys and Girls Club where she now manages all the kitchens for the Boys and Girls Club in Portage County! She also was recently recognized at the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board’s Annual Award of Excellence Presentation and received the 2022 Erhard Huettl Award of Excellence Participant of the Year award! When reflecting on her past and being in the WIOA Program, she beams, “The WIOA Program made me believe that I could apply for school and be successful.”
Congratulations, Sara! We’re so incredibly proud of you. You’ve come so far and we can’t wait to see what more you do!