At the age of 25, Destiny Bautista had already been married for 8 years with an infant when her husband decided having a family wasn’t for him. He left, and with him, he took the little money in their checking account and left Destiny with all the bills.
“Before he left, we didn't make much but we both worked full time and were able to pay our bills and keep food on the table. I found myself completely broke,” said Destiny. Destiny needed to find a job that would offer more than the $9/hour she was earning so she could care for her son, Isaiah. “I found a 1-month CNA Program at the Anderson Impact Center. I knew I could build on that so I went for it.”
Balancing classes with being a single parent was hard, but Destiny succeeded. At the end of the program, she graduated as valedictorian of her class. One of the greatest impacts on her success during and after the program was being introduced to United Way’s Thrive Program and one of their coaches, Mary Baker through the Impact Center.
“ With the help of United Way's Thrive Program, I saw that I can accomplish my goals. When my son’s father left, I thought ‘how am I going to do this’. But now I know I can,” said Destiny. Mary Baker, a Thrive employment coach became much more than someone there to help Destiny, she became a friend. “She encouraged me all along the way in the CNA program and helped me get connected to programs for food and childcare assistance that I didn’t even know existed. Programs that would help me get back on my feet,” said Destiny.
After graduating, Mary helped Destiny make a resume and apply for jobs. All of Destiny’s work and help from the Thrive program paid off when she landed a job at Community Hospital in Anderson. “This is a whole new start. This job will allow me to catch up on my finances and get to the point where I will be able to provide for my son without the extra help, said Destiny. “Honestly, if it wasn’t for the Thrive program and The Impact Center, I don’t know where I would be.”
Over the last 18 months Destiny and Isaiah have thrived. Destiny loves her job and has even been awarded their Sunflower Award for the outstanding care she provides to patients. Isaiah is thriving as well due to help that the Thrive Network was able to connect him with for some early delays in speech. "He's using words now that I don't even know," shared Destiny. "You would never know today, that he had a speech delay."
For both Destiny and Isaiah life today is so much more stable. In fact, Destiny has shared that she is no longer is receiving assistance of any kind because she is able to fully provide for Isaiah and herself. She also shared that she's not done pursuing her next goal - becoming a RN. And thanks to the financial support available at Community Hospital, she is beginning those classes in January of 2019.