“Sarah’s” Goal Setting Moves Her Towards a Brighter Future
“Sarah’s” story illustrates that the only difference between Life-Work Planning Center participants and the staff is which side of the desk we sit on. We are all excited to see what kind of future “Sarah” continues to create.
“Sarah” was born in Africa. When she was two years old, she, her father, and her siblings moved to the United States where they lived with “Sarah’s” father’s girlfriend. “Sarah” grew up in New York, but her family moved to Minnesota when she was in the third grade. She was the oldest of nine kids. Growing up, “Sarah” had to take care of her younger siblings while her father and his girlfriend worked. “Sarah’s” always had a lot of responsibility.
“Sarah” went to elementary school, middle school, and high school in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. “Sarah” stated that she remembers going to multiple middle schools and high schools before she finally graduated. While in high school, “Sarah” received a scholarship to Hamline University, and later transferred to Minnesota State University, Mankato where she decided to major in biochemistry. While attending Minnesota State University, Mankato, “Sarah” found out she was pregnant and transferred to Rasmussen University to pursue the coursework to become a pharmacist. As she learned more about herself, her skills and interests, she changed courses to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services. “Sarah” shared that she went into labor during finals week of her last semester of college before graduation. Immediately after delivering her baby, she completed her final exams from her hospital bed! “Sarah” stated, “I had to finish school for my baby.”
“Sarah” came to Life-Work Planning Center with dreams of opening her own business, and was battling with boundary issues at work as a single parent. Life-Work Planning Center connected her with the Small Business Development Center and they started working on a business plan. “Sarah” would like to open a non-profit business working with children. “Sarah” says she enjoyed Life-Work Planning Center’s pre-employment and Job Search workshops because she learned a lot about herself and how to set goals.
“Sarah” also liked the one-to-one counseling because it provided her with educational support and motivation to keep moving forward. “Sarah” participated in Life-Work Planning Center’s six-month long strengths-based leadership program, Uncovering Treasures, where she learned more about her strengths and the kind of future she wanted to create for herself and her child.
While working with Life-Work Planning Center, “Sarah” received financial help to pay rent and for transportation while she worked towards her pre-employment goals. Life-Work Planning Center also provided “Sarah” with a laptop to be able to do her schoolwork. “Sarah” used what she learned to help discover her strengths and motivations to follow her dreams.
“Sarah” is now enrolled in school and is completing her Master’s Degree in Social Work while working full time as a Location Coordinator serving people with disabilities. “Sarah” has been working in the healthcare field for over ten years and enjoys it. She finds joy in helping people. “Sarah” feels that she is a good Location Coordinator being she has good communication and leadership skills. “Sarah” continues to follow her dreams of opening up her own business, but that is on hold right now until after she graduates.
“Sarah’s” recommendations to other women are to, “. . . never underestimate yourself or your abilities.” She says, “You hold the power, or key, to change and build your future. If you ever need a mentor, or big sister, The Life-Work Planning Center is full of phenomenal women to help you on your journey.”
**Name has been changed to respect the privacy of the person in this story.**