Map Your Future

Sarah

single mom and studentSarah never thought she could juggle everything in her life in order to go back to school.  As a single mom with 3 kids, she’s got a lot on her plate.  She’s been working at the local Paris Farmer’s Union for about two years and loves working there.  One day, her Manager let her know that he’d love to see her move up in the company, but she was missing some of the skills a manager really needs.  Had she ever thought of going to back to school?  Sarah was never really interested in going to college when she was in High School.  And math was definitely an issue.  But the idea of a promotion would really help her bottom line.  She asked her manager where to start.  He recommended talking with an admissions counselor at one of the Maine Community Colleges nearby.  But, Sarah was worried about how she could juggle 3 kids, full time work, and school.

When she connected with an admission’s counselor, she recommended she first take advantage of her adult education’s college transition program – to brush up on some math and get some ideas about how college might work for her.  So, Sarah did.  She found a sitter in the evenings for the kids which would work on a sliding-fee scale by working with Maine211.  Her admissions counselor also recommended she connect with the Maine Educational Opportunity Center.  Sarah attended a workshop on the “Essentials of College Planning” and “Financial Aid”.  The college transition program was a huge help, and Sarah now felt confident enough to apply to the community college. She also decided to enroll in the on campus TriO program, for some extra support.  Sarah admits she couldn’t have done it alone.  And she didn’t have to.  She had lots of help along the way, from her Manager’s encouragement, to her TriO support provider.  And, now, Sarah and her kids are enjoying the benefits of that promotion.

John

student reading a book while looking at laptopJohn loves his job as an insurance claims representative.  He loves where he works.  One day, the company’s Human Resource Representative appeared in his office door letting him know that a position within the company was opening up, and that she wished he would apply for it.  The company liked John’s work and would like to see him advance.  John asked the HR Rep for the job posting.  He was a little dismayed when he saw that it required a Master’s degree.  John has his Bachelor’s, but hadn’t really thought about needing a graduate degree.  But, John did like the increased salary the position supported. John asked his HR Rep for advice about applying to graduate schools.  She suggested he speak with an admissions representative at Husson University.

Husson’s Navigator told him about online programs that would allow John to work toward his MBA while he worked full-time.  John found out that his employer had a tuition reimbursement plan, and also talked to a friendly customer service person at FAME about the Maine Loan Program to help him fund the rest.  The company looked at John’s willingness to take on the graduate work as an indicator of his dedication to his profession.  And, therefore, was willing to give John the promotion while he finished his graduate degree.

Blake

student in classroomBlake went right out of high school and into the U.S. Navy.  After two tours of duty, Blake is coming out.  He’s glad to be taking this next step, but after so many years in the Navy, civilian life seems difficult to fit into. He’s gained so much experience in his field, but isn’t really sure how to make that translate into a good resume. Luckily, a friend of his said he knew about a program at the University just for Vets.  He took a chance, and reached out to the University of Southern Maine’s Veterans Resource Center.

The School Certifying Official (SCO) helped him with applying for VA benefits.  The people working at the Center were also Vets, so really understood what he was going through.  They connected him with a student Veterans group that did things together – giving him that feeling of being part of a unit again.  Blake found out that much of his military experience gave him a head start on his Bachelor’s degree and, working with his advisor, found out about the “Maine Hire-a-Vet” program through the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services.  Blake feels like he’s well on the way to a successful transition, with a little help from his “team”.

Joanne

studying outsideJoanne was in a difficult place. A series of unforeseen financial setbacks had put her at risk of losing her life’s investment, her home of 30 years. Always a hard worker, in the past she relied on part-time and seasonal work in her hometown. But now, she needed full-time employment.  She was unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. Funds were short to pay for heating fuel and pay her mortgage. Over the next few years, Joanne juggled seasonal and part-time jobs while continuing to apply and interview for a full-time position. Setback after setback put her in financial jeopardy. She reached out to Boothbay Region Community Resources Council and CEI in her area to get some advice and help on turning things around and finding financial stability.  The help from BRCRC and CEI allowed her to stabilize, but she needed a new plan.  So, Joanne set up a career counseling appointment with New Ventures Maine.

New Ventures helped her tweak her resume and cover letter, prepare for interviews, go over her household budget, identify new job hunting resources, connect to funding for more education, and gave her the confidence that she would find a good job.  With initiative and persistence, Joanne found the job she was seeking. She now has a full-time position and earns a livable wage as an administrative assistant at a yacht brokerage.