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In Marie’s words:

There are lots of questions as I think about what makes a “good life”: What is my house going to look like and where will it be located? Will I have my kids? What jobs will hire me? I know these are all big concerns for everyone, and worry rises and falls like the sun. One moment I was happy to be surviving without a ton of worries, and the next moment I found myself devastated in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic that left me jobless for the first time in forever.

From that point, with my kids trying to attend school at home, I tried to figure something out. From the daily job postings on the news, to the word of mouth references I was getting from neighbors, friends, and family it just seemed nothing was working.

What do my kids thinking about me now? After what they had experienced in foster care while I couldn’t keep them, they could see the genuine effort I was putting in to steer them to better health, better conditions, and most of all a better life. I thought that I was proving to them I could keep them safe, and I was done with my bad relationship years ago.

Is this my fault? Didn’t I make a big enough impact that showed my employers I was worth keeping? Did COVID give them the reason they needed to push me and many other employees out of the job so they could focus their efforts somewhere else? Was it me? Could I have prevented this?

Where do I go from here? Although my job was not what I was ultimately looking for, it was something.  I could place food where there had been no food and a table where there wasn’t a table. It gave me a solid foundation that things were looking up. In due time I would get what I had been searching, praying, and working so hard for: financial independence.

Now, I am left with nothing except my kids, a never-ending amount of bills I cannot pay off, and faith that this too shall pass, and I will find a way to get through it.

Catholic Charities was exactly that spark I needed on the road to getting a new position and a second chance at life I so desperately needed.

Coming into the Catholic Charities Employment Services office I was stunned at all the services they offered. Whether it was training on self-esteem, conflict resolution, job retention or networking and how to develop my resume and interview skills, this was that fresh start I needed to prove I belong in the workforce. I want them to see I have the mentality and drive to be a positive addition to the team in whatever area I will be a part of. I also knew they would be nothing but sympathetic working with me knowing the situation I was brought up in as an ex-offender who had worked hard to be stable before the pandemic layoffs.

As of right now, the classes are virtual, which for me is hard because I love connecting with people. I have learned so much regarding knowing how I can portray myself in the best possible light. I am being taught that it is okay to not have the answer to everything, but that if you are willing to try and learn the right answer you will have success and gain favor with your supervisors. With resumes, whether it is a waitress position or a web designer for a website, it is important to showcase only needed skills for that job, not every skill you possess because employers only have so much time to look through them.

I look forward to keeping at this and I am praying I get the opportunity that I have wanted to change me, and my kids’ lives forever.


You can #HelpMarie. Follow her story at and be her star thrower, text “Help Marie” to 41444 to donate now.

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