Rebecca was referred to Southern Tier Traveling Teacher, Inc., an Allegany County United Way funded program, in May 2011 by the Department of Social Services. She was referred to improve job readiness skills and to obtain GED tutoring services. At intake, Rebecca was a 20 year old female on public assistance, had a 2 year old daughter and needed help finding childcare. She did not have a high school diploma or a driver’s permit/license. She had last worked over 3 years ago in another state. She stated she had applied for jobs all over Wellsville but was not having any luck landing a job.
Rebecca had previously been enrolled in Southern Tier Traveling Teacher’s GED program in 2008-2009. At that time she was 17 years old and pregnant. She did not keep regular meetings with her GED tutor or complete assignments on time. Rebecca subsequently dropped out of the program.
Rebecca was ambitious to find work this time and determined to get her GED. She was focused, kept meetings with her tutor and completed assignments. Her tutor assisted her in completing job applications and passed along several job leads to her. Impressed with her new attitude and drive, her tutor referred her for a work experience through the Employment and Training Center. Rebecca was accepted into the Transitional Jobs Program and obtained a work experience at Family Dollar starting in August 2011.
Rebecca’s tutor was able to assist her with a referral to Head Start for her daughter, who was accepted and able to start at the center in the Fall 2011. She continued to work at Family Dollar and make progress on her math studies. Rebecca applied for CNA (Certified Nurse Aide) class at Highland Park and was accepted into the training beginning in October 2011. She decided it was best to give up the work experience to focus on her CNA studies and math homework for her GED. She knew that if she obtained her CNA certification it would lead to stable employment with better wages.
November 2011 seemed to bring many achievements for Rebecca. Her hard work and dedication paid off. She took and passed the GED exam and received her diploma. She also passed her CNA class, received her certification and was able to begin paid employment at Highland Park. She was now making enough money to financially support herself and her daughter and her cash case with public assistance closed. Rebecca stated she “was proud of herself and was going to throw a party to celebrate her achievement!”
Rebecca continued to work hard and set goals even after completing her GED. She was excited to begin working on studying for her driver’s permit because she disliked relying on other people for transportation. She also set a goal of saving money for her own apartment. Rebecca also began to explore the possibility of attending college in the hopes of obtaining an even better paying job.
Rebecca continues to be employed as a CNA at Highland Park. She most recently obtained her NYS driver’s permit and purchased her first vehicle.
Rebecca and many other students have benefited greatly from educational services funded by the Allegany County United Way.