Chrystal has been working with the Catholic Charities West Virginia (CCWVa) Adult Education program for a few months to get back on her feet. Chrystal came to us as a condition of her bond after getting out of jail for a drug-related offense.
“At first I had to be here,” Chrystal said. “Now I see I needed to be here to get sober. ‘Cause I couldn’t do it by myself. I’ve tried.”
With two grown kids and seven beautiful grandkids, Chrystal is ready to start fresh. Once she finishes her certificate program she plans to go to Beckley, where her sister-in-law lives. While she imagined she’d get a low-paying job as a housekeeper for a hotel, her work with CCWVa staff and volunteers has allowed her to see more compelling possibilities. She could use her certificate to get a job as an assistant manager in a restaurant, gain experience, and then work her way up to manager.
Michelle is a CCWVa Adult Education Instructor who has been working with Chrystal for the past several months. She says her favorite part of her job is encouraging and cheering on learners as they reach for their goals. “I love to help them realize they had it in them all along. That they could always do it, and all they needed was to believe in themselves,” said Michelle.
CCWVa Adult Education programs are offered free of charge, and all adults are eligible to participate. Certification programs allow people to explore and develop new skills while also improving their resumes and job prospects.
CCWVa has also partnered with the state of West Virginia to offer a financial incentive, called Job Jumpstart, to people who obtain certain certifications before August 2022.
Learners rely on volunteer tutors to help them gain confidence and excel in a variety of fields. Some examples of certificate programs offered are WV Welcome (for hospitality careers), Food Management, Customer Service, and several computer literacy certificates. “We also work with people who are applying for college,” says Michelle. “We can help them prepare for the ACT or SAT.”
Chrystal is just one person who has found the support she needed to make positive changes in her life. She is looking forward to the future, confident in her ability to thrive on her new path in life.