God has blessed Upworks to accomplish great things in 2017
- 25 new Life Advocates trained bringing our total to 42 Life Advocates.
- 28 clients completed program, 25 with new jobs, 3 enrolled in school
- 2 new nonprofit partners-Turning Point and Meridian Behavioral Services
- 3 new collaborative partnerships (R3 Collaborative, Northside Partners, PPL Learning Center)
- Approximately $1,800.00 in client support resources provided during 2017.
Rebecca had pegged herself into a box. Her aspirations were to complete addiction recovery and go back to work at McDonald’s. Up till this point she had not considered or even dreamed of a possibility of ever doing anything beyond working in fast food. Sometimes working with people requires helping them expand their dreams and opening up new possibilities. Maryls and Heidi helped her begin to dream what could be possible. After working through the self-discovery Rebecca found out she is capable of more and is now attending school. Right now, she is focusing on her Generals with a desire to either enter Addiction Counseling or entering the medical field.
Her and her Life Advocates developed such a special relationship that it has impacted more than her career trajectory it impacted her daughter. Heidi one of her Life Advocates, realized that Rebecca’s and her daughter were about the same age and suggested a daughters’ date. The girls had a chance to connect and build a relationship while Heidi and Rebecca connected as moms.
“This program has helped me out in many ways and has been very supportive with my life goals and my personal goals with my career goals. I really have been needing a program like UpWorks for so many years. I’m blessed that I found this program and they accepted me into it. I look forward to continuing to work with UpWorks in the future and to try to help others like me in my situation.”Norris
God is good and that he takes a chance on people when the world counts them out and brings restoration. Norris’s past and his felonies from 30 years ago have been following and discounting him from life. Making it difficult for him to live even though he is a reformed man and no longer the 15 year old who committed those crimes. The world could only see his double homicide from when he was a young.
He was laid off from the only job he was able to get after 12 years of working for them almost a year ago. Every time he applied for a job they saw what he did 30 years ago and closed the door even though he is a reformed man who has had a clean record since. He tried everything to get back to work, finally he went to Goodwill Easter Seals knowing they have programs to help ex-felons, however the person he met with let him know that Goodwill would not be the right fit, so referred him to UpWorks. He came as a walk-in referral hoping UpWorks would be able to work with him and help him figure things out.
Three months after joining UpWorks, Norris was a changed man. When he started he was beat down, had very little hope, and few connections to others. Hope has been restored. Norris has been working now for 3 months at a chemical factory and already is a team leader. Rufus, his Life Advocate and him have become like brothers, forming a deep personal connection that goes beyond just helping him find a job.
Chuck was feeling overwhelmed with the idea of moving forward in his next steps. Holding a Bachelors degree and no criminal background Chuck had many options available. He was assigned to loving Life Advocates Chuck and Matt who literally met Chuck where he was andoffered support and coaching to empower him to make good decisions about the future. With his Life Advocate’s encouragement Chuck quickly began seeking work in the Customer Service arena. He landed a job with Xfinity Comcast as a frontline CSR making in excess of $18 per hour.
Soon after beginning his new job Chuck was able to find an affordable apartment in St. Paul not far from work. Chuck is now on a path to become a Business 2 Business sales agent with Xfinity Comcast.
Deanna lacked confidence and saw getting her GED as an impossible barrier she did not want to face. Now after working with Lynn her confidence level is raised, and she no longer sees getting her GED as the impossible barrier. She now has a fulltime job at a church in Richfield as an admin and is working toward getting her GED.
My name is Deanna Martin, I am a changed person, since starting and going through UpWorks Program. The Life Skill coach helped me write down, go after, and obtain my goals. I ’m not scared like I was when I first came to the program, my faith is stronger and my confidence is higher. I will continue to go forward in my life with the life skills I learned physically and with job skills.
Addiction is a cruel master. Alison had been a nurse prior to being caught up in addiction. Now that she is on the other side of it she is moving toward her goals and hope is being restored. She has been working as an on call personal care assistant and is moving forward with building a new career that still resonates with her nurse’s heart, she is in the pool to become an EMT with the Minneapolis Fire Dept.
“The very first time I met them I felt understood and cared about. They listened to me, really listened to me and helped me find my inner strength. The encouragement helped me feel like I could do anything. Kevin dared me to dream big! When I thought, I had big dreams he said to dream bigger. I have overcome addiction, abuse and self-destruction and the pain and chaos was astounding. I went hard in my addiction and now of the people at UpWorks have helped me persevere and work hard with a purpose. I know my purpose and what God wants for me.”
In 2017 Pilot was launched in Bloomington School District with key components including:
- Collection of ideas, goals and dreams from five schools
- Connected churches with schools, along with other community partners
- Communicated stories and updates to inspire additional volunteers & projects
- Celebrated each step and the outcomes
- Building meaningful, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships
- Creating a child focused, schools assisted, and teachers supported movement