Judy – Assistant Director of Community Services
What does that word mean to you? For many it means increased knowledge, future job opportunities, job advancements, and hope for the future. But to many of our clients when they hear the word education, their response is, IMPOSSIBLE! They are in a survival mode, and their greatest need is to provide food and shelter for their families. Food and shelter is hard to maintain when you are living on minimum wage and the harsh reality is the majority of our clients are one step away from becoming homeless.
Last night our Community Service Outreach Center hosted a seminar for the Nebraska Appleseed Center, our guest speaker was Jennifer Hernandez, Community Educator. The Nebraska Appleseed Center works to help low-income families pursue a higher education while on the Employment First Program.
We invited many of our Employment First clients to this workshop with the goal of helping them realize that they to could pursue further education. As the class began, I listened to our clients share their stories and ask Jennifer question after question, I could not help but sense their pain and frustration, many had lost hope for their future. The mood was heavy and depressing, but as the night went on I noticed the mood began to change, their voice sounded lighter, I heard laughter, and as I made eye contact with some they smiled back at me and their eyes were sparkling. What a difference! This was truly an exciting sight to behold. The miracle of HOPE had just transpired in some of our clients hearts. They were empowered with tools and resources that would help them pursue a dream for a better life for their family, and that dream would be achieved through the goal of a higher education.
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