Overcoming Barriers With Both PATH and JMG Programs!

Through the partnership of the PATH (Partnership, Accountability, Training, Hope) Program and GST Michigan Works! Job for Michigan’s Graduates program (JMG) in September of 2019, Stephanie Roberts was able to graduate with her High School Diploma and receive a certificate in Homeland Security.

Stephanie Roberts, a single mother with a young daughter, was referred to the PATH (Partnership, Accountability, Training, Hope) Program in August of 2018.  Ms. Roberts entered the PATH program with a positive attitude and the willingness to resolve barriers that kept her from success.

At her initial meeting with her PATH Career Coach, Rosie Teodosio and Stephanie discussed her concerns regarding her education and employability skills.  She worked on gaining her high school diploma in the past but lacked the self-confidence and support needed to graduate. Stephanie recognized that if she wanted to provide a better life for herself and her child, she needed to complete her education and work towards a career path that would lead her to Self-Sufficiency.

Stephanie worked with her Career Coach and explored education options. Stephanie and her career coach determined that JMG would be a perfect fit and she could gain the support needed. She was enrolled in the WIOA Out-of-School Youth Program and Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) Program in July of 2019 and they began working together to help Stephanie gain her High School diploma and job skills.

While committed to earning her diploma Stephanie attended various job readiness workshops including JMG Sessions, Interviewing workshop, Resume workshop, and Workplace Excellence. She also worked with the Talent Development Center to improve her study skills.  As Stephanie attended these activities, she gained knowledge and information that allowed her to build her portfolio, build her self-confidence, and achieve her diploma.

Stephanie also was able to utilize PATH supportive service funds to resolve several workforce barriers. With the assistance of the program, Stephanie received transportation assistance in the form of bus passes, while she began working on earning her driver’s permit. In addition to transportation assistance, Stephanie also received assistance with professional interview clothing.

With the knowledge Stephanie accumulated from attending various workshops and the accomplishment of earning her high school diploma, Stephanie was scheduled for an appointment with the PATH Community Service Coordinator to receive assistance with work experience opportunities. Through the help of the PATH Community Service Coordinator, Stephanie was offered a Work Experience opportunity, as a JMG Hub Attendant with Action Human Resources. Allowing Stephanie an opportunity to build on employment skills.

Because of Stephanie’s drive and eagerness to improve on her self-confidence and dedication to achieving her high school diploma, Stephanie was asked to participate in Careers in Public Service Month, in February 2021, giving her the opportunity to represent GST! Michigan Works! Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates Youth to Michigan legislative.

With the encouragement and support of her Career Coach and JMG Specialist, Stephanie, from the very beginning demonstrated the ability to stay focused and dedicated to her education and career development while actively addressing and removing barriers. As Stephanie continues to achieve her workforce goals, she already has a new set of goals since earning her diploma. She is now prepared to focus on attending college and becoming a veterinary technician.

“What helped me the most was having someone supportive that believed in me and really helped me push through when I wanted to give up and I was struggling. I kept trying and didn’t give up. I reminded myself I’ve always wanted my diploma and I did it so if I can do it you can. too. You can never plan the future by the past.”

– Stephanie Roberts