Mia moved from Texas to York County seeking a fresh start. Her first priority? Finding care for her twins, then 3 years old. Everywhere was full, or she struggled to get a callback. Luckily, Community Progress Council’s Head Start program had availability.
As part of the program’s whole-family approach, Mia was connected with a Family Coach, someone who could work with her to develop goals, anticipate challenges, and write her future story — all while her children worked toward their intellectual, physical, social, and emotional growth.
“I was familiar with Head Start, but this was different,” Mia said. “I had already been focusing on myself. [Then,] when Penny came, it made it easier to stay aligned with my goals.”
From the beginning, her Family Coach Penny made sure Mia that knew about resources available to her, including the Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) program that provides supplemental food and nutrition support to young families.
“I said, ‘It’s OK, I really don’t need it,’” Mia said. “Then I saw the rise in groceries.”
Mia’s coach also connected with resources to help with the rising costs of school supplies and her energy bill. From their first introduction, no stone was left unturned.
“Yes you’re progressing, you’re doing well, but these are programs still available to give you that boost,” Mia said.
In addition to day-to-day resources, Mia also learned about the BLOOM Business Empowerment Center, a program available through the York County Economic Alliance to help future and existing small business owners.
Their offerings connected directly with Mia’s goal for herself: To start her own trucking company.
“When the kids first started school, I was working in HR for an insurance company,” Mia said. “But because of the times and dates for childcare, when I had to pick up the kids and be available, it was conflicting with my schedule.”
As a newly single mom to her twins and two older children, starting her own company gave her the flexibility to still be at home when needed.
Mia now has a projected graduation date of February 2024 to earn her associate’s degree in business administration. Although she’s not yet enrolled in BLOOM’s programming, she’s looking forward to learning more, and combining her past work experience with this new dream.
She’s also broadening her perspective through Community Progress Council’s program, “Getting Ahead In A Just-Gettin’-By World,” a 16-week series of conversations where participants investigate how poverty affects their lives and their communities. It’s a family affair — Mia can bring her children, and dinner is provided for everyone.
“You understand that we’re in these predicaments for whatever reason, but you don’t want it to be our outcome,” Mia said.
Without the support of her Family Coach, Mia says she’d still be working toward her goals. But she’s grateful that Community Progress Council has provided a safe place for her children.
And, an extra person in her corner matters.
“Ms. Penny makes it feel like you’re OK, you’re not just by yourself, it’s not just happening to you,” Mia said. “Who do you have in your circle that’s positive? Ms. Penny fills in that gap right there.”