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The Courage and Determination to Move Forward

GraceWorks’ mission is to help our neighbors in need, and all who come are helped to the best of our ability.

But once in a while, a person or family stands out as having the capability of transforming their lives — they just need some help to do it.

Nine months ago, a single mother of four children came to GraceWorks seeking help. She had fled an abusive relationship and was homeless and jobless. But during the interview, GraceWorker Jeff Fulmer sensed she wanted more than temporary aid for her troubles.

“Jeff thought she had the desire to change her life,” said Client Services Director Rae Sanchez. “He said she was really pleading more to change her life than asking for help.”

Sanchez and Fulmer decided the woman was an ideal candidate for GraceWorks’ newest program, Stepping Forward, a yearlong bundle of services that gives support through personal mentors and provides education through an individually designed curriculum of financial, personal and life skill information.

She was interviewed three times to determine her desire and suitability for the program, matched with a volunteer mentor and began the steps to change her life.

Within the first month, she had found a job. She found a place to stay in a motel, but had to find different accommodations when her middle school son was teased at school about it and his grades dropped from straight A’s to C’s. GraceWorks was able to help her find more permanent living arrangements.

She is now taking Excel classes, and her employer has promised her a raise when she completes the course.

GraceWorks provided her the opportunity and the tools to achieve her dream, but her success is rooted in her willingness to take those first steps and face the hard work and personal assessment necessary to accomplish them, Sanchez said.

“This program is not for everybody,” Sanchez said. “Confronting yourself is hard. But that’s what you have to do when you want to move forward.”

This woman had the courage and determination to do just that. All she need was the encouragement and the tools provided by GraceWorks’ newest program.

Learn more about Stepping Forward here.

—By Kathi McClure

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