Pathway to Your Career Program pilot graduation

Six Healthy Families Jacksonville participants completed a Pathway to Your Career pilot program on November 27th. This 12-week program was designed for our moms to grow professionally, gain personal confidence and self-advocacy to provide for themselves and their families.

Throughout the course, program participants received certifications in continuing education from Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) and industry-recognized certifications in emergency response, construction, retail and professional development.

Pathway to Your Career is a pilot program first utilized to give opportunities to moms enrolled in Healthy Families Jacksonville – a nationally-accredited family support and coaching program that helps parents provide safe and stable environments for their children. Moms in the program discussed during graduation how the program made them feel like better moms and providers for their kids and families.

The graduates completed career assessments, developed career plans and received job interview coaching and resume building from Dr. Linda Woodard of LDW Group, LLC.

Instructional Program Manager with FSCJ Adult Education, Deana Waite, offered words of encouragement to the moms. Her journey raising her children while attending school was not easy. She admits that it took a lot of time, but she kept the pace because she knew she was doing it for her kids – not just herself.

Participants discussed how the career assessment opened their eyes to possibilities and careers they had never thought of before. They finished the program with a sense of fulfillment, pride and with a sense of family.

“I’m going to miss ya’ll because Tuesdays and Thursdays were family nights,” Tanisha Brown said to her fellow graduates during her speech. Tanisha also won the perfect attendance award for never missing a class.

CEO of the Coalition Faye Johnson closed the night by reminding the ladies to never stop pursuing their professional dreams.

All participants are engaged in job search through the American Job Center at CareerSource Gateway. Two have participated in an employer recruitment event. Workforce service representatives at the American Job Center are continuing to help the ladies in their search.

Healthy Families Jacksonville and this pilot program are funded by the Kids Hope Alliance, the Jacksonville partnership for children, youth and families.

Four graduates shared what their experience was like in the program and how thankful they were for the opportunity: