I first learned about Brighton Center in 2019 after giving birth to my third child. I was trying to figure out how to manage life as a single mom with three children and work. While seeking out resources, I learned about the Every Child Succeeds program and immediately enrolled. My Home Visitor was extremely helpful in ensuring my child was meeting developmental milestones and in providing a support system to me as a parent and as a person. 

I was working at Speedway at the time, but knew I needed to get a more stable job with set hours. I mentioned to my Home Visitor that I had my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) credential and had worked in the medical field since I was 19. She told me about Brighton Center’s Center for Employment Training (CET) program and the Medical Assisting skill division. This was in 2020, just after COVID had shut everything down, but I was determined to take this opportunity for a better career. I knew with this career opportunity that I would be able to have set hours and a salary where I wouldn’t have to worry about our income. 

Going back to school at CET was a real leap of faith for me. I wasn’t sure how everything would work out, but I could tell the staff truly cared and had my family’s best interest at heart. When I first started classes, my children were also doing school online, so we would sit together and all complete our work. 

While at CET, my family and I were also connected to additional resources we needed in order to eliminate the many barriers we faced. Emergency Assistance services helped with food, clothing, and personal care items, allowing me to use our limited budget to pay for other necessities. The Stable Families program helped stabilize our housing situation. At one point, I was living in a hotel, and through this program, we were able to move into an apartment at an affordable monthly rate. 

After my son turned two, we graduated from Every Child Succeeds and began Brighton Center’s Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program, which is helping to prepare my youngest for kindergarten. Knowing that he will not have to play catch-up when school starts and may actually be ahead of his peers is a huge relief to me. My oldest, who is 11, is involved in Youth Leadership Development, where she participates in service learning projects, develops leadership skills, and explores education and career opportunities for the future. 

I have also benefited from Financial Education and Coaching through workshops and one-on-one financial coaching. I have learned how to budget and better manage my money. 

Another challenge that I, like many others, have experienced recently is finding quality child care, and yet again, the staff at Brighton Center helped connect me to quality centers.

My whole personality has changed since coming here. It’s a complete 180. I knew that by going back into the medical field, I would need to lead by example. I became a CET Ambassador, helping fellow trainees and those interested in the program. I’ve also become involved with the Building Community Well-Being program as a member of the Parent Advisory Board and will be leading an upcoming parent café. This is allowing me to use my own experiences to help other families navigate community resources and develop our own strength-based support system. 

Although it took me longer than the typical trainee, I finally completed Medical Assisting. I passed the Registered Medical Assistant exam leading to certification, which allows me to work as a Medical Assistant anywhere in the country. 

My life has changed so much over the last few years. I was just surviving before and now I have a stable career path, a home, and my kids are thriving. I wish more people knew of all the incredible services Brighton Center offers and all the help provided to get people back on their feet. No matter what obstacle or barrier that has come up, Brighton Center has been there to help me navigate it. 

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