On Thursday, November 17th, the My Sister’s Place Women’s Council held their fourth Women’s Leadership Council Breakfast at the Women’s Center. Over 90 attendees enjoyed breakfast, a client’s story of her journey to employment, and encouraging words from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Michelle Kennedy, a client of the Women’s Center, graciously shared her story with those who attended the breakfast. Michelle first came to My Sister’s Place Women’s Center through the Families That Work program at the Center while she was pregnant and in need of help and emotional support.  Here is Michelle’s story in her own words:

“My name is Michelle Kennedy. I came to the Families That Work program in August of 2010 while I was pregnant with my son. Ms. Donna, my case manager, had me volunteer at the front desk at My Sister’s Place; this helped me gain work experience and showed me how to develop better communication with others.

In December 2010, I gave birth to my healthy baby boy and that March, I came back to the Families That Work program to start working towards employment. Ms. Donna helped me get my social security card and Maryland ID. I participated in the two-week job readiness program and was able to put together my own resume and gain self-confidence through the mock interviews.

I started going out looking for jobs with some assistance from Ms. Joyce Williams from Families That Work. After having many let downs, I thought nothing was going to come through for me and my kids, but it finally did.  I took part in the first annual Job Fair held at My Sister’s Place Women’s Center in June.  Ms. Williams had me fill out an application for housekeeping at the Mount Vernon Hotel. I wasn’t sure this would work out because I did not have the experience in that field, but I was willing to try. I called Ms. Johnson at the Mount Vernon Hotel and let her know that I was very interested in a job and even though I had no experience I was willing to learn and with the proper training I would do my best. Ms. Johnson, hearing my enthusiasm and eagerness to learn and work hard, had me come right over for my interview anyway. I was so happy that day. I received training from Ms. Johnson and did my very best and when the training was finished I was hired!  I started working part-time and have now moved to working fulltime.

It is through the support of the staff at My Sister’s Place and Families That Work and their services I am now fully employed, live in my own apartment, have gained my independence, and can provide a stable life for my family.  My story is an example of how MSPWC is effective in the work it does, although it is very important for the women there to put in the effort as well if they want to succeed.

I know there are many women at the Center just like me who need continued assistance. They count on the multitude of donors and volunteers to continue to support My Sister’s Place Women’s Center so that they can receive the help that they need.  Thank you for your ongoing support and care.”