A CLIENT'S SUCCESS!
|Pictured l to r: Tracy Annis and Amber Gilmer with Northwest Tennesssee Economic Development Council
Thank you Latoya Strayhom-Rich for allowing us to share your letter and to Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council and their community partners.
My name is Latoya Strayhom-Rich. I am a single mother of 3 children. I graduated high school at the age of 17 years old and began working immediately. I got married at the age of 18 and had my first child at 20. My husband and I separated and divorced in 2008. I met my ex-boyfriend 2 years later and 2 years later had my second child. After only being with my ex-boyfriend for 2 months, he started physically and emotionally abusing me. He didn't allow me to work nor be around family and friends. I thought I would never get out of that relationship alive or ever be able to work again. After leaving my ex in 2014, I became a single parent with no help nor money. I got on family assistance, also know as welfare and started receiving food stamps.
With 3 kids I was only getting $185 a month, which was hardly enough to survive. Human Services put me on a work program where I had to start doing community service in order to keep getting my $185 a month. They placed me at Northwest.
When I first started at Northwest I had hardly any work experience, communication skills, or any skills at all. Mrs. Amber Gilmer and staff took me under their wings and started teaching me skills and showed me numerous things that I had no clue would change my life forever. Mrs. Amber Gilmer and staff not only taught me skills but they also got me to open up and gave me hope again.
With Northwest resources I was able to attend a CNA program, which I passed. I found a job, and I'm proud and glad to say I'm full-time with benefits. My kids and I are so happy and thankful!
I thought I was always going to be a statistic. I thought I would always be a struggling single parent with just a dream, but with the hope, the vision, and skills Northwest gave me, I was able to turn my nightmare into a success story. I will forever be thankful for all the help and services I received, and for that I will continue to be a dedicated and proud Northwest volunteer.
Let's all join in to congratulate Latoya in her success!