Jordyn: Balancing Work, School and Parenting Is Possible

Jordyn Turner graduated from high school a month before her son was born.

When looking to go to college for the fall, she found help in her local CareerCenter.

Her CareerCenter consultant signed Jordyn up for the Workforce Investment Act Youth Program, and helped her research and fill out college scholarship applications.

“The CareerCenter was always there to guide me – whether it was questions with paperwork or reading over two-page-long essays.”

Jordyn completed her first year at Washington County Community College. She hopes to pursue a career in the medical field. She’s been working as a CNA at the Eastport Memorial Nursing Home.

“The most challenging thing about going through school is juggling being the single mom of an infant son and getting all of my homework done and keeping my grades above a B. I did not think I could have passed all eleven classes that I took this year with all As and one B.”

Jordyn is thankful to the CareerCenter for its part in her success.

“I have been going to the CareerCenter for over a year now,” said Jordyn. “My career counselor continues to work with me and she checks in often.”

Jordyn has the Washington County CareerCenter in Machias to thank for its encouragement and support.

“The help I received from my consultant got me through my first year of college,” said Jordyn.

“I am looking forward to finishing up my degree, supporting my family and forever thanking the CareerCenter. This program benefits anyone who needs assistance, and I’m not sure where I would be without it.”

Interview Practice Lands Christina a Job

Christina Hall has always been a hard worker – even when faced with obstacles

Christina grew up in Maryland and was raised by a single father.

“My dad is my hero. He is a construction worker and never completed high school, but he always worked hard and when he set his mind to something he made it happen. I think that is where I get my work ethic from.”

After Christina graduated high school, her plan was to become a Marine. Instead, she became pregnant. A year after her daughter’s birth, she started working nights at a convenience store.

Four years later in 2007, she relocated to Oakfield, Maine, and began taking classes at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

When looking for a job, she turned to the Presque Isle CareerCenter for help.

“I first met my career counselor when I was doing work study at the Houlton Higher Education Center. I talked to him about helping me work on my resume due to an assignment I had for college,” said Christina. “Then, because of his helpfulness, I just kept going back. He has turned out to be a pretty good mentor as well as a friend.”  

Christina is thankful for her counselor’s genuine help when she uses the CareerCenter for job seeking.

“He was very personable and made me feel very comfortable. I didn't feel like I was being judged at all. He assisted me with my resume and my cover letters and helped me with re-wording and condensing things down.”  

Her counselor has also helped members of Christina’s family with their resumes and application preparation as well.

“He has always been very supportive and very interested in the plans that I have regarding my career, and has always been very excited both with me and for me.”  

Some of the challenges Christina had when finding a job was the feeling of rejection after failed interviews.

“I hate when I feel like I didn’t give it my all or that I could have tried harder. I think one of my weaknesses is that I tend to beat myself up over things like that – especially if I really wanted the job.”

Luckily, her CareerCenter counselor taught Christina how to feel more comfortable during interviews. The day before her interview for her current job, she went to him for help.

“We sat down in a conference room and he immediately asked me a hard question…I just drew a blank and then he coached me to calm down and take breaths and take it slowly, then he started to ask me questions again and made me more comfortable. He showed me that I was confident in myself and that I could do this,” she said. “I went to the interview the next day and I felt like I nailed it. And I did! I got a call the next day and was offered the job. I was so excited. I called my counselor and he was excited with me. 

Christina now works as a clerk at the court.

Emily "Don’t be afraid to apply"

Emily Jones didn't grow up with much. Her father is a log truck driver, but has been laid off for years and her mother has a disability that prevents her from working. Emily always knew she wanted to be a nurse, but wasn’t sure how she was going to be able to afford the schooling for it.
Emily Jones
“We had barely been able to make ends meet most months, and the idea of going to a four year college was something of a pipe dream to me.”

Feeling hopeless, Emily made an appointment at the CareerCenter.

When she met with her counselor, Emily said, “she listened to my concerns about school and helped me with an important decision. She encouraged me to choose a four-year college since continuing my education was important to me.”

The career counselor also helped Emily choose the school that was not only a good fit, but would also assist her the most financially. She signed Emily up for the Workforce Investment Act Youth Program because of her family’s low income and helped her apply for scholarships.

Emily is about to go into her third year of nursing at the University of Maine at Orono.

And because of the CareerCenter's help, Emily has been successful and, for the first time, doesn't have to worry about money.

“Without the Workforce Investment Act, as well as the generosity of the scholarships, going to school wouldn’t have been as stress-free as it has been so far,” she said. “Unlike my classmates, I have zero dollars of student loan debt at the present moment. This allows me to concentrate on my studies instead of worrying about the costs of my education.”

Today, the CareerCenter is still something Emily uses for help when filling out her FAFSA for financial aid.

“They also have computers available, with printers, which makes it easy to print things off for scholarships,” she said. “The staff members are always very friendly when I come in and always willing to lend a hand.”

Emily is thankful to the CareerCenter for opening up her eyes to the possibility of making college doable and affordable for her and her family. 

“A lot of people look at going on to higher education as something out of their financial means. School can definitely be expensive, but it doesn't have to be,” she said. “There is plenty of aid through grants or scholarships. Don’t be afraid to apply for those things simply from fear of being turned down. You might just get it.”