Up and Out of the Ashes
By the time Pam was a young adult, she had decided she wanted to become a trauma flight nurse. That is why she got her EMT license, worked in an ER, and hoped to finish nursing. But she married and had a daughter, Samantha (Sam), who became her priority. At 28 she says she shifted gears because she wanted to be a good mom, wife, and homemaker. She started a daycare in her home which she managed for ten years, and she loved it!
Over the years though, things took a drastic turn for the worst, and by the time Pam came to Life-Work Planning Center (LWPC) she was desperate and next to homeless. A difficult marriage had been strained to the breaking point when her home, as well as her daycare business and thus her livelihood, was destroyed in a fire. All her possessions were destroyed. Pam and her husband separated, and she and her daughter ended up living in someone’s lake home that was being remodeled. Pam and her husband eventually divorced.
Without any income, Pam sought public assistance. At one point she also obtained a position with the school district where her daughter went to school. This job, which barely paid the bills, was a temporary one and lasted for about a year. She then had to move in with her mother in Le Sueur which she looked at as a temporary transition until she could afford her own place. Pam had gone to apply for food stamps when she saw a LWPC brochure. At this point she was feeling almost suicidal. She thought maybe the services at LWPC would help her get her feet back on the ground.
In order to figure it all out, Pam enrolled in Personal Growth/Career Development as well as Depression & Happiness workshop series. She soon developed a new perspective on her situation. She realized she was not the only one going through a tough time. She learned that “any situation can end, that it is just for now. It will get better in a little while.” She told herself these things and others. She said she learned the mental tools that helped her get past where she was. She learned what battering was. She learned it was okay to make a mistake.
She learned about her personality in the Myers Briggs workshop and felt that before taking it, she did not know who she was. Through career development workshops, Pam realized that without more schooling, she would probably not find a job with adequate income to support herself and her daughter. School looked to be the only answer. In the goal-setting workshop she learned how to set a goal and take small steps to achieve it and believes she would never have attended and finished her nursing program at South Central College without that knowledge.
At this time Pam is completing her ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) at South Central College. Her next goal is to complete her BSN (Bachelor of Science) at MN State University Mankato. Now, as an LPN, she is on call at the Benedictine Center in St. Peter. She also renewed her EMT license and volunteers on the Le Sueur ambulance runs.
Pam learned the importance of education and knows her path shows her daughter how essential education is in order to do work you like and have an adequate income. Pam plans to graduate, get a nursing position, and then help her daughter attend college. All in all, LWPC gave her hope and a solid plan. Her advice to other women struggling with life: Don’t let your problems get you down. It is your own thoughts that will make you or break you.