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Paying it Forward

Yvonne, Lifetrack participant
Yvonne, Lifetrack participant

A Single Mom Thrives in a Counseling Career

Yvonne is a proud and successful mom of an energetic 7-year-old. She spends her days helping others as a counselor and caring for her family. But her journey here wasn’t without bumps.

Eight years ago, Yvonne was excited to be expecting her first child, but she says it was a time in her life when she was “scared to death.” Adjusting to life as a new single mom was challenging.

After her son was born, Yvonne decided the best way to support him was to first pursue her education. She got involved in a program that helps low-income single moms go to college. Yvonne worked, took care of her son and studied. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Human Services Administration.

But even with a degree, a good job didn’t come along easily. Yvonne started working part-time, but had trouble finding a full-time job in her field. “At that time, a lot of nonprofits were failing and corporations were letting people go, so the job market was really tough for a new person coming in,” said Yvonne.

Yvonne got in touch with Lifetrack as part of her Hennepin County benefits program and Lifetrack workforce coaches stepped in to help her jump-start her career.

“Lifetrack gave me support and they gave me willingness to keep trying and to look further into my career,” said Yvonne.

That’s when Yvonne decided to focus her efforts on becoming a drug and alcohol counselor. “I have a family of alcoholics. I lost a lot to addiction and found my way out, so I wanted to give back,” said Yvonne. She earned her license in drug and alcohol counseling and accepted a job working as a counselor at a women’s treatment center.

Her favorite part of the job is the opportunity to help others. But with her drive to help others, she found a stable avenue to support herself. “Things are coming together more as far as being financially stable. I was actually thinking, boy, in a year we can actually go on a family vacation, which would have never happened before,” said Yvonne.

She thanks Lifetrack for helping to guide her career. “Lifetrack was definitely a good supportive system that helped me find my career path,” said Yvonne. “It took time, but Lifetrack helped me stabilize my life for the future.”

Lifetrack partners with Ramsey County and Hennepin County to provide employment services as part of the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP). Learn more.

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