For a while, Kelly Kersey and her two children received Aid to Families with Dependent Children.
But she accepted help only until she got back on her feet, with a little help from a self-directed job-search class offered by her Office of Community Operations staff members."I'd tried before and couldn't seem to get going," Kersey said. "But after the weeklong class, I found a job within three days. I'm excited."
The classes might be called a holistic approach to searching for employment, because the teachers are as concerned with the client's self-image as they are about how one presents a resume.
"They teach us to look at ourselves in a better way and present ourselves better," Kersey said. "I started to believe I should get a job and I did."
Aside from self-esteem skills, Kersey said she also learned "neat things like how to avoid trick questions and other channels for finding a job, instead of just using the classifieds."
After graduating from the class, Kersey went back to use the office phones to set up interviews. Within days, she had landed a customer service job with a local company.
"I'm really excited about this. I've been working almost three months now. And I'm getting customer service and telephone experience. Even if I don't do this forever, it's giving me options and a future."
The state still provides Kersey with some medical coverage and day care - a transitional bridge to ensure she succeeds in her bid for economic freedom.