Liza was a single mom with two young girls when she arrived in Madison County from Florida. She grew up in Puerto Rico; had earned a bachelor’s degree in special education. She dreamed of working with kids to support her children and build a future.
Challenging requirements for transferring her teaching credentials left Liza in need of some kind of job to support her girls while she worked toward being able to teach in Indiana. She took a factory position but had to quit because she had no one to watch her children while she worked. “I didn’t know where to go. I had to do something to support my kids. I needed someone to help me,” shared Liza.
By accident Liza found the Anderson Impact Center (AIC). She went because she was interested in its CNA or Pharmacy Tech programs. AIC connected Liza to the Thrive Network and its employment coach and they immediately began working together.
From day one the coaches worked closely with Liza and helped her entire family. “They monitored what I wanted to do and helped me look at different options,” said Liza. “When people don’t have support - like I didn’t - they need someone to help point them to the right door, to give encouragement and to help open doors. They did all of this at the Thrive Network.” Through the Thrive Network, Liza was also recommended for the Tenant Based Rent Assistance (TBRA) housing program, a joint effort between the City of Anderson and the Housing Authority, that has helped her a great deal to maintain a place for her and her girls to live.
Liza still has struggles that she is working to overcome. Her current position as a paraeducator in the school system does not provide the full-time employment and benefits her family needs to be financially stable. There are months that there is not enough to cover all the bills.
“Sometimes you go through a lot as a single mom. You’re hard on yourself and you can’t see the future,” said Liza. “At the Thrive Network, they felt I could be more successful. They push you to do better and work harder for your kids.”
Liza is working on getting her teaching license transferred by taking the needed classes and getting her formal evaluations completed. That will put her one step closer to her goals. She’s working hard, and building a good foundation for the future, and she’s not going to give up.