Dual Generation Initiative Gives Stephanie a New Outlook on Life
As a single mother of four, Stephanie put her family first when she chose to participate in services provided by United Way’s Dual Generation Initiative.
A community-wide solution that coordinates the expertise of its partners, the Dual Generation Partnership serves children and families to help them find safe housing, education, childcare and employment by removing barriers and enabling families to achieve greater stability and success.
Stephanie prioritizes her family at every opportunity by finding resources to provide the self-sufficiency needed for them to grow stronger together.
“Family is everything to me. I have four children — one girl and three boys. My oldest, Carolyn, is 12. She is my little sidekick and a big help. Then there is Fabian, 10; Jacob, 7; and my youngest is Joshua (or Joshy), 3.”
The first in her family to graduate from high school, Stephanie explains that she knows her children are watching so going back to school has an important impact.
The Dual Generation Initiative provided Stephanie the assistance she needed for childcare while she pursued a workforce training program. The family support staff at Healy-Murphy Center, a United Way nonprofit partner and daycare provider, recommended a medical training program.
She found herself interested in a Dual Generation-sponsored medical front office program offered through Alamo Colleges. Having previously attended a trade school for medical assistant training, this was a chance for her to receive additional training and experience.
Stephanie completed the medical program and was working part-time but heard about a career position with the Dual Generation Initiative. She soon found herself on the other side of the table, reaching out to others and educating them on better opportunities that help advance the welfare of large groups of parents and children.
“My advice to others would be to not be afraid to ask for help and to take a chance with new things. Because at first, I honestly was thinking I didn’t need the program.”
Stephanie likes talking to people, but more importantly, she is good at listening to people; and she’s now utilizing those skills daily at her new position with United Way. Recently hired as a Dual Generation Family Engagement Ambassador for the Eastside, she brings a unique perspective as a Dual Gen “alumnus.”
“It means a lot to me to be working for United Way. I was nervous and doubtful when applying and even throughout the interview process. But I’m so glad I didn’t give up and took a chance. It’s OK to fail but you have to try.
In the past, I have just had jobs. This is a big accomplishment for me to work with the people who helped me, and then I get to help other people.”
To pave the way for the future success for her family, Stephanie also made time to discuss her finances with a certified professional counselor at the Financial Empowerment Center through Family Service Association, a United Way nonprofit partner. Together they reviewed her credit score, debt, savings, and worked to establish goals to make the right moves for her future dreams.
Stephanie says that Dual Generation has changed her life.
“I look at the bigger picture now and have a different outlook on life.
Without the Dual Generation Initiative, I would still be stuck in a part time job and not really thriving. Since Dual Gen I have learned so much and come a long way. I also love the people, having the support team you need to succeed is awesome.”
To Stephanie, family is her greatest treasure. She appreciates that the Dual Generation program is for the family as a whole.
With her own family, she likes to spend time together — barbequing and enjoying home movie and game nights.
“My family is super important to me and has always been close. We come together in times of need. I want my children to know how important it is for them to stick together.
Helping others is also very important to me because everyone can use a helping hand. Some people may need it more than others. I want to be able to give other families hope. Just the way I was given hope.”