DETERMINED TO SUCCEED
Last year Kayla was struggling. She and her daughter, Zayla, had moved to Richmond from eastern Kentucky in an effort to find better opportunities. She was working in Lexington and things seemed to be going okay. Soon an awful car accident left the ambitious young mother without a way to get to work. Thankfully she was not seriously hurt. Unable to afford her car repairs she lost her job and was on the verge of being evicted from her apartment. “I was just having the worst luck,” said Kayla. “We literally had nothing. I thought I would have to call someone from home to come pick us up. I was beyond discouraged.”
At the time she was enrolled in the Kentucky Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS) program, which immediately referred her to Foothills’ Community Collaboration for Children program (CCC). Realizing she could use all the help she could get, Kayla enrolled in the program. She immediately formed a strong connection with her case worker. “She constantly reassured me that everything was going to be alright,” said Kayla.
CCC provides community-based services that educate, strengthen, and support families to prevent child abuse and neglect. CCC empowers the family unit by promoting their safety, well-being, and strength and stability by teaching problem solving skills, appropriate discipline techniques, self-sufficiency, and coordinating community resources. Staff provide short term home based intervention services from birth to age 18. Participation is voluntary. Referrals can be made by any community partner, DCBS, or they can be self-referred. Along with In-Home Services, CCC provides monthly Regional Network meetings.
In May 2015 Kayla received her Associates Degree in Science. At the time she had thought about continuing her education but found out she was pregnant with Zayla a few days after graduation. CCC helped Kayla refocus her attention on school and gave her the courage and confidence to pursue working towards a life of success. Her case worker helped her apply to various schools, find a job and locate better housing.
“Before long everything started to fall into place,” she said. She was accepted into Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) and is enrolled in the Administrative Office Technology program. She found a job through the BCTC Ready to Work program at Baptist Health Richmond in the Health Information Management Department.
She also found a better housing option through the Eastern Scholar House program. Eastern Scholar House is a combination of education supports, housing, and child development services. Kayla benefits by having connections to educational supports such as tutoring, financial literacy, and access to community based services. She receives case management and access to various programs and workshops including parenting skills, management of family resources, nutrition, problem solving, work skills, and job search techniques. Zayla attends Early Head Start at the on-site child development center. “She loves it there,” said Kayla with a big smile. “She’s learning so much it’s amazing. And it’s RIGHT there!”
Today Kayla is focused on planning for the future and nurturing Zayla. “I want to set a good example for her,” she said. “I also want to give her opportunities.” Kayla’s future goals include graduating, securing a full-time job in medical coding and billing, and buying a home. She credits CCC for helping her get back on her feet. “There’s no way I would be in school without CCC’s services” she said. “This program has been life changing.”